A new GPS tracking product can now bring some extra peace of mind to caregivers of those with Alzheimer’s or other forms of dementia. People who care for these forgetful family members or patients may worry about them wandering off. No matter how carefully they watch, sometimes things go awry. We’ve all seen and heard news stories about a missing elderly man or woman with Alzheimer’s, and these missing persons are often difficult to locate because their paths are illogical and hard to trace. While there is no substitute for loving and watchful care, there are tools available to help ease worry and avert disasters when the best-laid plans don’t work right. One of these tools is the GPS Smart Shoe produced by Aetrex.
Aetrex Worldwide, Inc., has been developing healthy footwear since 1946. The company’s mission is “to create the healthiest shoes on the market today.” With that in mind, Aetrex employs over twenty-five certified pedorthists on its development team. They make shoes in all styles for both men and women, from casual through athletic and therapeutic to dress shoes, all designed to both look good and be good for the wearer’s feet.
This medical-design focus leads quite naturally into the GPS shoes, designed with Alzheimer’s patients in mind. The shoe goes beyond just being a healthy fit–it can improve the quality of life for both patient and caregiver. With the purchase of the shoe and a monthly service plan, the caregiver can access information online that tells them the whereabouts of the patient (assuming, of course, that the patient is wearing the shoes). The shoe has a tracking device in the heel which communicates with GPS satellites and specialized software to calculate its location on a map.
These GPS shoes are available through the Aetrex website for $299.99 plus a $34.99 monthly service plan. Under this plan, the shoe’s location is recorded every 30 minutes. For an additional $5.00 fee, the location is recorded every 10 minutes. Shoes come in both men’s and women’s sizes with strap or lace-up style options. Every patient’s situation and needs are different, of course, but many caregivers will find that having GPS shoes will lighten worry loads and keep the patient safe from the dangers involved in wandering.