In NY, Lawmakers Are Calling for GPS Trackers

gps_tracking_autismA recent ‘Center for Disease Control’ (CDC) study found that an estimated 1 in 50 kids have been diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder. This is a number that has increased 72% in the past 4 years.

Each case is different, and severity levels differ too. Some kids living with this disorder are highly functional while others are not. Some kids also wander away from home regularly leaving parents in a constant sate of panic.

In NY, a recent case of a 14-year-old non-verbal autistic boy wandering away from school has caught the attention of the nation. In turn, this has caused lawmakers, parents, and educators in NY to propose voluntary GPS trackers for children with autism that have a history of running away from home.

The Case

On October 4th, Avonte Oquendo was seen on a surveillance video running out of the doors of the Riverview School in Queens, NY.

Here’s what unfolded in the Avonte Oquendo case:

  • The security guard that was stationed outside the doors of the school questioned Oquendo as to why he was leaving school, but did not stop him even when Oquendo failed to respond.
  • For 45 minutes, teachers roamed the neighborhood near the school, looking for Oquendo, and neglecting to call police.
  • It took school staff more than one hour to phone the child’s parents.

Avonte Oquendo has not yet been located.

NY Proposes GPS Tracker

The ‘NY Department of Justice’ already provides GPS trackers for people suffering from Alzheimer’s, so why not provide the same technology to parents of children with Autism?

The city can be a scary place for a child with Autism. Scary noises and flashing lights often cause these children to hide, which makes it even harder to find a child that has run away. A GPS tracker would certainly help.

How effective are GPS trackers? One NY senator estimates that a GPS tracker can cut down search and rescue time by a staggering 95%. Right now, NY parents of children with Autism can head to a local police department to fill out an application for a GPS device. But, as of this writing, this is not mandatory.

GPS trackers are an optimal way to keep anyone in need from wandering away from home. If you’re looking for a GPS tracker, contact us today to see what we can do for you. We also hope that Avonte Oquendo returns home safely.

Simple Ways to Keep Alzheimer’s Patients Safe

alzheimers_gps_trackers‘Alzheimer’s Disease International’ recently released a report titled ‘Journey of Caring,’ which looks at dementia on a global scale. The reports indicates that the cost of caring for those afflicted with dementia is more than $600 billion annually.

By 2030, experts predict that this cost will soar to $1.1 trillion.

A Growing Number

How many people are impacted by dementia? Around 35.6 million – and growing. Approximately 40% of these people wind up missing or lost after wandering. Some return with serious injuries, and others never find their way home again.

A simple GPS device can track your loved one quickly and efficiently, so that the person you care about doesn’t have to become part of this expanding statistic. Interestingly, though, wandering isn’t something that happens randomly in Alzheimer’s patients, and that means that there may be some things you can do to ensure that your loved one is safe at all times.

Good For Patients

Here are some reasons why Alzheimer’s patients may wander regularly:

  • A stress response
  • A response to anxiety
  • One way to deal with pain
  • A possible way to handle boredom
  • Simple confusion

Sometimes, Alzheimer’s patients will also wander in order to find a place that they have visited in the past. At times, these people will also look for something that they once knew existed (like a lost landmark).

It’s important for caregivers to recognize these episodes when they occur so that the underlying cause of wandering can be determined. If the root of the problem is worked out, wandering may be diminished. What can a GPS tracker do?

A GPS tracker can alert a caregiver when wandering does occur, and allows the patient the freedom to wander without fear of being lost and stuck in an unknown location or severely injured, or worse. In short, a GPS device brings peace of mind to all parties involved – well, almost all parties. Some believe that Alzheimer’s patients must consent to being tracked, but there are some major problems with that as well.

The Problem With Consent

The problem with asking someone impacted by dementia to consent to being tracked is that many of these patients are not considered “of sound mind.” Thus, caretakers must gain power of attorney in order to use a GPS tracker.

When it comes down to it, though, most people battling dementia would prefer to be tracked – this way, relatives can find a wandering person quickly. Still, this is a sticky situation – but, it’s also one that GPS tracking can help to fix quickly.

In addition to making sure that Alzheimer’s patients are cared for via GPS trackers, it’s also vital that caretakers recognize signs of wandering. If you are caring for someone battling dementia, understanding wandering patterns will help you to prevent wandering from occurring. Dealing with Alzheimer’s isn’t easy for anyone, but GPS tracking can – and does – help.

We offer solutions to keep your loved one safe, contact us to learn more!