There are many startups introducing new technology to improve the safety and wellbeing of seniors with Alzheimer’s and dementia. One in particular, is bringing to the market a device that could be lifesaving – GPS tracking soles.
It’s not uncommon for seniors with Alzheimer’s and dementia to become disoriented, and eventually wander. For family and friends, it can be a great cause for worry about their loved one’s safety.
This behavior can happen at any stage of memory loss. The most familiar places to them can suddenly become a stranger. Planning for this to happen and looking into proper safety measures are key to preventing them from getting lost.
Thanks to the company GPS Smartsole, the location of a loved one can quickly be tracked via smartphone or desktop.
How Does the Smartsole Work?
Using cellular connectivity, the GPS Smartsole sends a location update every 5 to 10 minutes. Using a digital map, the location information is easily recorded and visible for caregivers through the app or online account. Not only are these live updates reoccurring, but alerts are sent out via text and email to show the latest location.
Safety measures can be put in place to stop it once it starts – but is there a more specific cause to the wandering? Disorientation is a result of a lapse of cognitive function and confusion, but there are a few other factors worth mentioning:
- Fear and distress. A response to uneasiness associated with a new environment or frightening noise may spawn a feeling of fear or uncertainty. It becomes harder for those with Alzheimer’s to understand circumstances and new changes around them.
- Searching for someone or something. They may be heading over to the next-door neighbor’s, or simply getting to a shop down the street. As a result of a lapse of memory, they could find themselves lost.
- Boredom. Maybe they wanted to get off the couch and stretch their legs, soak some sunshine and find something to do.
- Past routines resurface. Walks to the post office, a visit to the grocery, or even trying to get up to go to a job they once had can be familiar memories of routine that gets them moving.
Other Prevention Measures
Aside from GPS technology, there are a few other options that can be put in place to preserve the safety of a loved one with memory loss that is prone to wandering.
- Watch for hazards. Any tricky steps, cords running across a hallway, and throw rugs are tripping hazards. Night lights are also what will help them maintain visibility at night. Stairwells are something to avoid, and even installing a gate would help.
- Alarms and locks. Childproof covers on doorknobs and warning bells on handles are a simple step. Pressure-sensitive alarm mats are available on the market that can go at the door or at your loved one’s bedside. Installing a sliding bolt lock can also prevent them from unlocking doors.
- Hide and cover doors. Take a curtain or wallpaper to camouflage doors and make them not visible in the first place.
Keeping Your Loved One Safe
The most important part of a wandering spell is how to handle the safe return. Your loved one may be confused as to not only where they are, but how they got there and how to get home. By taking the following to make sure they have a safe environment, the chances of your loved one getting lost are slim. A memory care community would offer the ultimate scenario of constant monitoring and even less reason to worry.
At The Kensington, we offer two memory care neighborhoods with 24/7 care and a high staff-to-resident ratio . Our expert staff is knowledgeable to assist your loved one in all stages of Alzheimer’s and dementia. Not only do we work as your partners in memory care, but we strive to make The Kensington feel like home.
Our promise is to love and care for your family as we do our own. We center each day on routine and to meet the needs on an individual basis. Because each resident is unique, we want them to feel comfortable and build their strengths each day.
With a diverse dining menu and life-enriching therapies, there’s never a dull moment. Though Alzheimer’s can be a difficult journey, it is one that your family doesn’t need to go through alone. We encourage family and friends to come visit our residents as often as possible, and create the time and space for quality moments together. Come visit us and see what makes The Kensington different. Give us a call or schedule a tour today!