What are some suggestions for tracking devices for those with Alzheimer’s or dementia who have wandering behaviors?

Wandering in individuals with Alzheimer’s disease or dementia is very common and can be dangerous. Six in 10 individuals with Alzheimer’s disease will wander.

Many tracking devices create a safe and secure environment:

MedicAlert + Alzheimer’s Association Safe Return is a nationwide wanderer’s safety program created by the Alzheimer’s Association. This program supports the safe and timely return of individuals. An application for this program is available online at alz.org.

Project Lifesaver, projectlifesaver.org, is the first to apply tracking technology for the search and rescue of those with cognitive impairment. People enrolled in the program are given a personal transmitter worn around the ankle. When that person wanders, the caregiver calls the local Project Lifesaver agency, and a trained team responds. Recovery time averages about 30 minutes, and most who wander are found within a few miles of their home.

Mindme, mindme.care, offers two lifesaving devices: a location device and an alarm. The alarm alerts a Mindme response center. The locator device is designed for people with cognitive impairments.

The GPS Shoe, gpssmartsole.com, has a tracking device in the heel of the right shoe, is rechargeable and sends a signal to a central monitoring system so caregivers can track their loved ones through a website. The GPS Smart Sole is a similar device.

Safe Link, safelinkgps.com, is a small device carried by the person who may wander. It periodically sends its geographic coordinates to central servers, and caregivers can view the wearer’s location via a website.