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GPS tags for dementia patients

ProfilePosted byOptionsPost Date


Paula+ Report 1 May 2013 11:45

Dementia patients are to be fitted with GPS tracking devices for the first time to save police money searching for those who regularly go missing.

My Aunt suffered from dementia she lived in a beautiful residential home and was extremely well looked after. She walked out of the home on several occasions and wondered around the town centre, but would eventually make her way to the family home where she grew up. It is heartbreaking to see the torment that their families are put through — and to see the impact it has on the person with dementia when they are found.

I personally cannot see any difficulty with this proposal at all. Is it preferable for an elderly person to be lost in inclement weather, at the mercy of traffic, and heaven knows what else, with relatives beside themselves with worry? Or is it better to have a means of finding such vulnerable people promptly.


AnnCardiff Report 1 May 2013 11:49

I saw a news item on that - can't recall which council is doing it, but the device costs about £25 - brilliant idea

Shirley~I,m getting the hang of it

Shirley~I,m getting the hang of it Report 1 May 2013 12:05

I think its a brilliant idea.

To me its not to save searching time but for the safety of a person who has gone walkabout with no idea of where they are.

In my opinion it could save lives when a person can be found sooner rather than later especially in inclement weather.

If my hubby gets to that stage then I would be only too happy for him to be fitted with a tag


wisechild Report 1 May 2013 12:09

My daughter suggested a similar device when she started working as a carer nearly 20 years ago, but was told it would be an infringement of the person´s human rights.
She asked which was more important, their human rights, or preventing them being killed by a passing lorry.
No answer to that. :-0


OneFootInTheGrave Report 1 May 2013 13:02

This is a brilliant idea, what took them so long to realise this?

Brenda from Wales

Brenda from Wales Report 1 May 2013 13:20

Of course it's a good idea.My friend whose husband has Altzheimers worked out and bought her own tracker for him
It meant that if she went in a shop and left him outside she knew she could find sensible.....

I agree OFITG....what took them so long?....having said that I wonder why with a lot of things we think as sensible as being years before they're taken up!!


JoyBoroAngel Report 1 May 2013 13:23

i remember the panic when my friends
grandad went missing on a old folks trip
how easier it would of been if they had them then :-D

he was found safe and well 5 hours later
sat on a wall at scarbrough

:-D :-D


AnnCardiff Report 1 May 2013 14:07

it hangs around the neck


Paula+ Report 1 May 2013 14:20

I understand that there has been some negative comments from Dot Gibson, general secretary of the National Pensioners Convention she accused the police of "trying to get care on the cheap".

She said "I think they should withdraw it straight away," "Trying to equate somebody who has committed a criminal act with somebody who is suffering
from dementia is completely wrong".

As someone who has had first hand experience of a family member with dementia, I think that this woman is not living in the real world.

Carol 430181

Carol 430181 Report 1 May 2013 14:21

Brilliant idea. My mil went awal in Epping Forest; It was winter at dusk they had police dogs, helicopter out, lucky a young couple found her, a few more hours and it would have been to late.



Penny Report 1 May 2013 14:34

its not taking anything away from a dementia sufferer, the point at which the patient would require one of these for their own safety, they are well past logical thought.


+++DetEcTive+++ Report 1 May 2013 15:52

It's not the Police trying to get care for the elderly on the cheap, but the saving in money if they have to mount a search. it was something like £800 ph to fund a search, or c£29 pm - the last figure could be wrong as it was on the BBC Tv, but isn't on the BBc website.

Money aside, it's an excellent idea - it can be worn around the neck but seems a bit junky (edit - chunky!) for someone to wear all the time.

It's Sussex Police who want to issue them.


SuffolkVera Report 1 May 2013 16:01

It's an excellent idea in theory but you have to get the dementia sufferer to wear it. I also have some experience with a close family member with dementia and I am certain he would have refused to wear or carry it. If by any chance we could have persuaded him to have it about his person, within a very few minutes he would have forgotten what it was and thrown it away.

The alternative would seem to be to attach the thing permanently to someone, round a wrist or ankle, and I think that would be very distressing to many dementia sufferers.


Mayfield Report 1 May 2013 16:14

Saw the report on TV this morning some PC nonsence being spouted against it, can't see the objections, is fitting a baby alarm in a child’s bedroom an invasion of privacy?
As you say SuffolkVera getting people to wear them can be a problem like emergency call buttons (my FIL took his off and put it on the table to remove his vest and fell over doing it then couldn't reach the button) but where they are accepted by the person it's a great idea.


Tecwyn Report 1 May 2013 17:57

My father suffered with dementia and twice walked out of the home he was in. Once walking five miles into the nearest town, and into a large store where security realised he was ill and called the police who had been notified he was missing.
The second occasion he wandered into a notoriously rough area where because of his mental state anything could have happened. Eventually being noticed at 11pm by a passer by who wondered why an old man was wandering about aimlessly in indoor clothes on a winters night. The police were notified and he was taken back to the home, having again been reported missing.

A tag would have been very useful in these circumstances, and would have saved police time, and the distress of the family, who were all out searching for him.



~`*`Jude`*`~ Report 1 May 2013 18:08

Definately a brilliant idea:)