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GPS devices for people living with dementia

Elderly man getting ready to go for a walk

There’s been a lot of discussion recently, both in the media and the community, about GPS devices for people living with dementia.

Many people like to take a walk, go to the shops or exercise a pet. This doesn’t change when a person is diagnosed with dementia. However, due to the impact of cognitive impairment, a person with dementia may become disorientated, forget the way home or try to head to a location other than was first intended.

For many people with dementia, the freedom, autonomy and choice of taking a walk is an important right that maintains their emotional wellbeing. There are a number of assistive technology devices available to help minimise the risk of becoming lost for people living with dementia.

If the person usually takes their mobile phone with them, this list of phone-locating apps can make it easier to locate them, should they become lost.

Helpful equipment.

Be sure to involve the person with dementia in any decisions to implement assistive technology. A GPS device is no use if the person with dementia does not want to wear it.

There are a range of technology solutions that can prove very useful if someone is lost. These include GPS location devices, tags that can be attached to handbags or wallets that will alert you if the person has left a certain distance, door alerts that will wake you if the person leaves the house during the night, apps on phones that can help find the phone. A range of this type of equipment can be found on assistive technology page. 

For support on your dementia journey, information about dementia and how to access services to support you and your loved ones please contact us on 1300 66 77 88 or support@alzheimerswa.org.au.

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