Keeping track of elderly family members with cognitive problems can be a challenging and worrisome task for caregivers. Although Alzheimer's and dementia care services provide vital assistance, seniors with even mild memory issues may easily become lost or confused when out of the home.
New technological advances may allow for more independent living for such individuals while providing caregivers with peace of mind and a quick means of locating their loved ones. One new development is GPS-enabled footwear that allows the wearer to be located from any web-enabled computer or mobile device. This advance is referred to as "geo fencing," which refers to the ability to limit the user's geographic range.
The same type of location tracking is available in mobile devices, which has also proven to be a boon for parents of children equipped with cellular phones. Not only can a caregiver pinpoint the user's location, but with many services, a map is provided to more easily recognize the exact position and ascertain the reason for traveling to a given spot. A shopping center, for example, would be a much less worrisome spot to find a senior family member than an industrial area.
Although these new advances can provide peace of mind and help avoid losing track of a loved one, technology developers have yet to design a replacement for the human private care attendant necessary for many seniors.