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How technology can help dementia patients

Dementia can be frightening and challenging for family caregivers, as per AARP, one of the most common safety concerns for people with dementia is that they will leave the house and get lost.

Anyone who has memory problems and is able to walk is at risk for wandering. Even in the early stages of dementia, a person can become disoriented or confused for a period of time. … Wandering and getting lost is common among people with dementia and can happen during any stage of the disease.

A good place to start would be to imbibe technology in the home for aging in place.

Statistics show that six out of 10 people with dementia will wander, so caregivers need to be prepared. Some technologies and services that can help:

GPS tracking

Dementia and wandering

  • “If your loved one has a cellphone, ensure it has a GPS tracking system that you can access to find them, or track their progress when they travel alone,” Goyer said.
  • You can also attach GPS trackers to clothing, keys, wallet, car or just about anywhere.
  • If they wear an emergency alert system bracelet or necklace, consider one that has GPS capability anywhere — not just in the home — so they can be tracked wherever they go if they become lost.

Wear a Medical ID Device

Dementia and wandering

Alzheimer’s Association has teamed up with the MedicAlert Foundation to create local programs to improve the overall safety of those living with Alzheimer’s disease or another dementia. Some local chapters operate a live 24-hour emergency response service, any person with Alzheimer’s who experiences a medical emergency will receive care from specially-trained first responders. For those who wander and become lost, first responders work with a MedicAlert Response Specialist to safely reunite patients with their loved ones.

Take Me Home Program

The “Take Me Home” Program is a regional photo-based information system hosted by the Sheriff’s Department accessible by all Law Enforcement. It is designed to assist Law Enforcement (Police and Sheriff) during contacts with members of the community who have disabilities such as, but not limited to Autism, Dementia, Alzheimer’s, Down syndrome, deafness or any other Developmental Disabilities.

The program promotes communication and gives Law Enforcement access to critical information about the individual enrolled. The Take Me Home Program can provide Law Enforcement with emergency contact information, detailed physical descriptions, and a photograph of the individual, known routines, favorite attractions, or special needs of the individual. This information can assist Law Enforcement in communicating with, locating a residence for, or handling an emergency involving an individual with special needs. This program has photo recognition technology attached to it. If an individual is located and cannot communicate, a photograph of the individual can be taken in the field, sent electronically and checked against those in Take Me Home Program for similar or match.