Helping to Find Those Who Don’t Know They Are Lost

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What do you do when the people who used to care for you can no longer care for themselves? This is one of the most difficult things to accept as we and our parents age: that the people who used to be our rock and security now need our help for basic tasks. Words like dementia and Alzheimer’s are very scary when they are being used to refer to our parents. A common and legitimate fear is that our parents or loved ones could wander off and not be able to find their way back. Oddly enough, just as GPS technology can help police find stolen cars, now GPS tracking devices can help locate loved ones who wander off.

Elderly-driver-drivingThe Halton Regional Police Department in Ontario is piloting a program to track the whereabouts of individuals who suffer from autism and Alzheimer’s. A simple GPS tracking device will be worn by the individual as a bracelet or pendant and notify caregivers if that person leaves a certain area. This will allow caregivers to track the individual, find them, and bring them home safely. The program will last for about a year, with the police department paying for the costs now, in the hopes of finding funding if the results are favorable.

The nice thing about this program is that the GPS units do not have to be invasive to the lives of the individuals wearing them. Bracelets and pendants are common accessories that anyone can wear and do not create any unnecessary hardship for the wearer. The GPS tracking device would be able to let caregivers help their loved ones in a way that would not make them feel like they are being locked up, but rather allow them freedom to move without fear of being lost.

GPS tracking units have come a long way and there are new applications for their use being developed daily. Imagine the peace of mind that can come from simply knowing your loved one is safe and off the streets. There is really no price you can put on that kind of security. If you ever peruse a missing persons list, it is amazing to see the number of people who become missing due to a medical condition like Alzheimer’s. GPS tracking systems can help put an end to this problem.

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Edmond Donaldson

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