Exploring GPS Tracking for Alzheimer’s Patients
Senior living accommodations aren’t the only thing that’s changed as more and more Baby boomers near retirement age and the demand for enhanced services for seniors grows. Seniors who choose to age-in-place, often relying on other family members as caregivers, have a number of unique options to keep them safer than ever before.
Caregivers of Alzheimer’s and memory care patients can use a GPS service to keep track of their loved ones even if they can’t be with them 24/7. Since private homes don’t have the security or staffing of top memory care and Alzheimer’s care facilities, GPS for seniors may be the next best thing. How do you choose the best system to meet your needs?
A GPS (Global Positioning System) to track seniors is different from the GPS that you may wear around your wrist, attach to your car’s dashboard, or download as an app on your smartphone.
Instead, a GPS for seniors lets caregivers know if:
- the senior is safe within their home
- is out of the house but within approved areas
- has left a particular area, designated a “safe zone,” and may need help
This “geo-fence” function offers greater peace-of-mind because a caregiver can tell if a loved one may be lost or need assistance and will be able to find them easily if they do.
What to Look for in GPS Tracking for Seniors
When you’re ready to buy a device, you’ll want to make sure your loved one will wear or carry it. Alzheimer’s patients may get agitated by something new. GPS tracking devices come in the form of watches, bracelets and other jewelry or small, pager-like devices.
Many models come with easy tracking over the internet, or through an iOS or Android app. You may want to look for this iPhone, iPad, tablet or smartphone functionality if you are always on the go. You may want a model that alerts you via text message or email if your loved one exits the safe zone, or even strays from a pre-programmed itinerary.
Some GPS trackers also come with a panic button feature, which your loved one can hit if ever they need help. An alert will be sent to your phone or email, or you’ll receive a phone call.
Some other factors to consider when you shop for GPS tracking include:
- Monthly fee
- Whether the GPS tracker is also monitored by emergency personnel, such as the local police station
- Whether or not there’s an annual contract
- Refresh rates
- Tampering alerts (which will alert you if your loved one or someone else attempts to remove the device
GPS Tracking for Seniors Who Drive
If your loved one is still able to drive, but you worry about them getting lost, running out of gas, or not being able to get home, GPS fleet trackers, previously designed for professional drivers or truckers, are now available specifically for seniors.
These GPS systems can track every location a car has been, and can send alerts for speeding or running low on gas. This is a perfect solution to give seniors who can still drive the freedom they deserve, while giving caregivers peace-of-mind that their loved one is safe.
If GPS tracking seems like the right choice for the Alzheimer’s adult in your care, shop around to find a system your loved one will accept, that is user-friendly for you (and compatible with your smartphone operating system), and that fits your budget.
SeniorLiving.Net is a free service for families to use that are looking for senior care or senior living for a loved one. Call (866) 342-4297 to speak to your local Care Advisor about senior care providers in your local area.