GPS Tracking for Individuals with Dementia

A recent article in Newsday highlighted the success story of a GPS tracking device in finding a mentally disabled woman who wandered from the group home she resides in. The article reports that police found the woman using the signal from the GPS wristband she was wearing within 13 minutes in a densely wooded area nearby. The tracking equipment is provided by a Florida-based nonprofit agency called Project Lifesaver (http://www.projectlifesaver.org/). This equipment has been offered through the Suffolk County Sherriff’s office since 2007.

The Alzheimer’s Association asserts that 3 out of 5 people with Alzheimer’s disease will wander. GPS tracking devices can be very helpful in ensuring the safety of individual’s with dementia who may wander from their residences. Caregivers can apply for the device through the Sherriff’s office. Once approved, caregivers receive a waterproof transmitter, tester, battery, and wristband for a total of $300.

More information can be found online via the Suffolk County Sherriff’s Office:http://suffolkcountyny.gov/sheriff/CommunityPrograms/ProjectLifesaver.aspx.

The Alzheimer’s Association also offers a variety of other safety programs to protect individual’s with the disease: http://www.alz.org/norcal/in_my_community_18411.asp.