Wednesday, June 24, 2009


Many people with Alzheimer’s or other memory challenged folks sometimes wander and cannot tell anyone who they are or where they live. When Mother would get away from one of the caregivers or me; we would start to search. Talk about panic and anxiety.

The other day a friend of mine told me of an incident where she found a lady who did not know her own name or who to contact. My friend called the police and eventually this lady and her family were reconnected. One of her observations was no one really knew how to respond to this situation (911; the police; the family nor community members at large. This got me to remembering my own experiences both as a searcher and as a community member in a similar situation.

As I was surfing I saw an ad for a GPS unit for people with Alzheimer’s. The initials GPS stands for global positioning system. It helps track an individual’s location if they have a GPS device with them.

My research showed that several other countries have GPS bracelets and other GPS jewelry that hasn’t yet been offered in the United States. I did find several companies that do offer some form of GPS monitoring devices for families. (1) Quest Guard (2) World Tracking Solutions (3) Wander Guard (4) RadioShack

Our Good Health has an interesting article about practical solutions for real problems that are faced by care givers and their families.

The Alzheimer’s Store and found two books that connects to the problems of wandering. The first is a workbook called “In Search of the Alzheimer Wanderer” by Mark Warner. It is a workbook for the families and community members to deal with the problems of wandering. The statistic that I read said many wanderers die if not found in the first 24 hours. The second book is the story of Stella Mallory Dickerman “Gone Without a Trace”, who unfortunately was not found in time. It is written by her daughter Marianne Caldwell.

The GPS units that I located were a little pricey but I noticed an article from a community service organization seeking information and prices because they wanted to purchase GPS device for several families.

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