‘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!