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According to Alzheimer's Society, one in six people with dementia will wander. Sufferers are prone to walking off when they feel trapped, and once out, can forget their name, where they live, and become even more disorientated.
This makes things hard for care givers, as just a short lapse in attention can have dangerous consequences.
There are already some ways to combat wandering, including tracker bracelets, but these are visible and easy to remove by patients. That's why SmartSole created a GPS tracker for Alzheimer's sufferers that goes underfoot.
The SmartSole is a shoe insole with a GPS tracker inside. The insole is simply slipped into the shoe of the loved one, and you can get updates on where they are at all times, ensuring they're safe.
The clever piece of tech trumps other tracker devices that can easily be removed, as Alzheimer's sufferers generally remember to put on shoes before they go for a wander.
The brand explains: "This system capitalizes on procedural memory which means even those with advanced memory disorders typically remember to wear shoes!"
It adds: "This is wearable technology that not only provides peace of mind but can also save lives while preserving the privacy and dignity of the wearer."
SmartSole sends loved ones updates every five or 10 minutes, which they can access on a map via an app. If they then leave an assigned area, such as their home or assisted living, the caregiver will be notified immediately, with updates on their loved one's location.
The insoles cost $299 online with a monthly payment plan following that for the app use - $29.95 for updates every five minutes, and $14.95 for 10-minute updates.
For a UK option, LiveBetterWith offer SmartSoles for the cheaper price of £199.99, however, monthly payment plans are limited to a basic £29.99 per month for 3MB of data usage on the app.
"The insole monitor provided great peace of mind. On at least one occasion the early alert allowed us to call the facility and alert staff that the individual was about to leave the premises. We and the staff arrived within about 200 yards and met him," wrote one satisfied customer.
"Being able to share the associated text messages and website functions was very effective in keeping the family members informed. I have and will continue to recommend your product and service.
"Brilliant solution to a heart wrenching problem," wrote another.
It sounds like the ideal solution, but there's clearly a price to pay for peace of mind.
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