Wandering or getting lost is common among people with dementia. This behavior can happen at any stage of Alzheimer's. If your loved one has Alzheimer's, he or she is at risk of getting lost — even if he or she has never wandered in the past.
There are many reasons why a person who has Alzheimer's might wander, including:
Wandering is not necessarily harmful if it occurs in a safe and controlled environment. However, wandering can pose safety issues.
To prevent unsafe wandering identify why the wandering might be happening. For example, if your loved one tends to wander at the same time every day or when he or she is bored, plan meaningful activities to keep him or her better engaged. If your loved one is searching for a spouse or child, post a sign stating that the person in question will be visiting soon to provide reassurance and reduce wandering.It's not always possible to prevent wandering. To keep your loved one safe:
Ensure a Safe Return
Wanderers who get lost can be difficult to find because they often react unpredictably. For example, they might not call for help or respond to searchers' calls. Once found, wanderers might not remember their names or where they live.
If you're concerned about your loved one's wandering, contact BLACKRIDGE Solutions to find out more about the PAL Wandering Prevention System. With over 4,000 sold throughout North America, it's making a difference in keeping our loved ones safe!
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A growing concern these days is the number of people living with Alzheimer’s, Dementia or Autism who are prone to wandering. With statistics indicating that 60% will wander at some stage and 50% who are not found with 24 hours will suffer serious injury or death, it is imperative that immediate awareness is provided when a wandering situation is occurring.
A trending technology, GPS, has helped reduce wandering situations and ensure a quick and successful locate of the individual. By being able to locate the individual when they have wandered away from their residence or care facility, allowing for pinpoint locate accuracy to reduce the time and cost spent searching, also provides peace of mind to care providers and reduces the impact on emergency services personnel.
Unlike current products which only provide safety while inside residences, the PAL Wandering System from Blackridge Solutions provides both indoor and outdoor protection and awareness … all in the comfort of a digital wrist watch. The watch comes with a lockable watch strap, ensuring it is always attached to the individual and not left on a table back at their residence.
Using Radio Frequency (RF) technology while indoors and near a Portable Receiver, the PAL Wandering System will immediately notify care providers via text, email and web portal when the individual has left the residence and will begin tracking them using GPS technology. Their current location will be displayed on the web portal map and new GPS tracking points will be provided as quickly as every 2 minutes.
Another key advantage to the PAL Wandering System is its ability to provide continued freedom to those individuals wearing it. For those who have early stages of Alzheimer’s, allowing them the ability to go out for walks or travel away from their residence knowing that if they required assistance, they have access to a Help button on the side of the watch which will signal an alert (text / email / web portal) that assistance is required and provide their exact GPS location.
To find out more about the PAL Wandering System and how it is becoming a critical wandering prevention system throughout North America, click here or contact Blackridge Solutions at (778) 686-5799 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Providers of home care for dementia patients often struggle with a common Alzheimer's and dementia symptom called "wandering".
When a person with the condition wanders off, it can be dangerous and very upsetting for both the senior and his or her caregiver.60% of those suffering from Alzheimer's will wander at some point in time and 50% of those who are not found within 24 hours will encounter grave consequences.Therefore, it is important to better understand some of the possible causes.
Here are some of the reasons your loved ones may be wandering:
1. Unfamiliar or confusing surroundings
Seniors who suffer from dementia often become disoriented, especially in unfamiliar, noisy or busy surroundings. This can lead to panic, paranoia or a feeling that they need to escape and find familiar surroundings.
Often, wandering is caused by something as simple as boredom or restlessness. Try to go on walks, exercise and keep your dementia clients entertained in other ways if they're prone to wandering off.
Alzheimer's or another form of dementia can sometimes cause seniors to have delusions or revert to another time in their life. If that's the case, it's possible they're wandering because they believe they have tasks they need to be doing or places they need to go. For instance, a senior with dementia may leave the house to pick up his or her kids from daycare - even though the senior's children are adults.
How can you provide additional safety and awareness to seniors who are prone to wandering?
Blackridge Solutions' new PAL GPS Watch will alert care givers immediately when a wandering situation has occurred, while also providing highly accurate GPS location points on a map as to where the GPS Watch is, anywhere in North America. Equipped with a Panic button, and the same size and look as a normal digital wristwatch, the "lockable" watch strap ensures the watch is always attached to the seniors wrist during a wandering situation.
For further information, please contact Blackridge Solutions at: (778) 686-5799 or info@BlackridgeSolutions.com
UAlberta partnership with Alberta Health Services uses GPS devices to mitigate risk of wandering or getting lost
It was a phone call that changed everything. Two years ago, while Allison Warman was driving from Edmonton to her house in Calgary, she became confused and disoriented to the point that she couldn't remember the way home.
She pulled over at the halfway point, in Red Deer, and called her husband Tim, who dropped everything to pick her up. It was the first warning sign something was wrong cognitively, a diagnosis that was later confirmed as dementia.
At just 53 years old, Allison an active, vibrant mother of three and accomplished costume designer whose creations have been worn by figure skating champions Kurt Browning and Kristi Yamaguchi, and the Alberta Ballet is increasingly housebound, unable to work, drive or even read anything longer than a headline.
"It's been devastating to watch this happen to such an energetic and talented and creative person she's always been an active person, doing things for people she loves to have all that taken away from you is brutal," Tim says.
Not everything has been taken. Walking remains one of Allison's true passions, keeping her body and mind refreshed. But the risk of wandering or getting lost is a real concern for people with dementia.
Locator Device Project
Fortunately for Allison, Tim and the couple's teenaged children, she can continue going on her daily outings without fear, thanks to GPS technology. The device, and others like it worn in a shoe or as a watch, provide real-time location information viewable on Google Maps and can send text messages or emails to family if Allison veers outside a designated safe zone.
The device was given to Allison when she joined the Locator Device Project, a 12-month trial to evaluate GPS technology in preventing people with cognitive impairments from getting lost or wandering. The project is a partnership between the University of Alberta's Faculty of Rehabilitation Medicine and Alberta Health Services, with 40 participants from Calgary and Grande Prairie.
"The technology provides peace of mind for families," says Lili Liu, lead researcher, professor and chair of the Department of Occupational Therapy. "Even if there is an accident or an incident, knowing that their loved one has a GPS device helps family members feel more at peace."
More than 40,000 Albertans have dementia of some form, and about three out of every five seniors with dementia living in the community experience wandering. The number of Alberta seniors with dementia is expected to exceed 100,000 by 2038.
"We have a responsibility to provide Albertans who are at risk with supports that will enable them to enjoy their independence without coming to harm," says Don Juzwishin, director of health technology assessment and innovation for AHS. "And we believe the locator project, which uses sophisticated GPS technology, will also support family caregivers and emergency responders to assist dementia clients who have wandered or become lost."
Liu's team, which includes several graduate students based in the Department of Occupational Therapy's satellite site in Calgary, has visited the homes of families participating in the project, answering questions and offering support. The data they're collecting are still being analyzed, but could be used to inform technology options for home-care clients and families.
To her knowledge, this is the first study of its kind in Canada, says Liu, and one she wants to eventually expand to a national level.
For the Warman family, participating in the study and using the technology has afforded Allison a precious sense of dignity.
"The best thing that has happened to her is being able to go out on her own and still be safe," says Tim, who believes the technology could benefit other individuals and families coping with dementia. "It contributes to her emotional well-being, just knowing that she is safe. It's empowering. It's just a wonderful thing."
Partners in the Locator Device Project include the Grande Prairie RCMP, Emergency Medical Services, and AHS Seniors Health.
By Bryan Alary
Source: University of Alberta
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Protect And Locate (PAL) Tracking System (Alzheimer/Dementia/Autism)
More than 60 percent of those with Alzheimer’s or another form of dementia will wander, and if a person is not found within 24 hours, up to half of individuals who wander will suffer serious injury or death. (Ref: alz.org)
The PAL tracking system is both a tracking devise and a digital sports watch. PAL is worn on the wrist just like a normal wrist watch. The difference with PAL is that it will protect and locate your “At Risk” loved one if they wander.
Along with the digital watch/transmitter, PAL also has a portable receiver which notifies the caregiver of a wandering event through the use of GSM & GPS technologies. If an “At Risk” individual wearing a PAL watch/transmitter breaches the PAL RF Perimeter the PAL portable receiver will sound an audible alert and the LCD display will flash red indicating your loved one has wandered from the RF Perimeter you have set. PAL will generate an email alert and send an SMS (text message) with the date and location of the wandering event. For the caregiver’s convenience, PAL also has an internet portal available that is accessible worldwide from any PC or smart phone and allows for real time tracking with regular location updates.
Additionally, the PAL transmitter/digital watch has a locking feature on the band which can only be removed by using a tool provided with the PAL system.
If the caregiver presses the “find” button on the portable receiver the PAL watch will determine the location of the individual and the address will be displayed on the portable receiver. If the “At Risk” individual wearing the PAL watch/transmitter is lost and chooses to push the panic button on the PAL watch, the address will be shown on the portable receiver. Both of these events will also update the internet portal and alert emails and/or SMS text message will be sent to the caregiver.
For further information on the PAL Tracking System, please contact Blackridge Solutions at:
(778) 686-5799 / info@BlackridgeSolutions.com
For a person with Alzheimer's, getting lost can be deadly.
For instance, a 75-year-old man who suffered from Alzheimer's disease drowned in Lake Michigan one day after he had been reported missing by family members, The Chicago Tribune reported. He had walked a distance of more than 9 miles from his home.
But this Chicagoan is not alone. Sixty percent, nearly 2 and a half million, of the estimated 4 million Americans with Alzheimer's become disoriented and get lost at some point during the course of their illness, according to Chicago-based Alzheimer's Association.
And if they are not found within the first 24 hours, anywhere from one-third to one-half may die, according to Gerald Flaherty, director of Special Projects at the Massachusetts chapter of Alzheimer's Association. He estimates that hundreds lose their lives every year due to "wandering," succumbing to dehydration, exposure to heat or cold and sometimes drowning.
"That number is likely to be higher," adds Flaherty. "A lot of incidents are not reported because the person has not been diagnosed."
Disorientation to time and place is a main reason why Alzheimer's sufferers wander. Once familiar streets and houses become unfamiliar to Alzheimer's sufferers who can get lost on their own block, steps away from their own home.
"Wandering behavior is not well understood," says Dr. Constantine Lyketsos, professor of psychiatry and director of neuropsychiatry at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore. "It is associated with more advanced [stages of disease] and it is linked to Alzheimer's disease."
Furthermore, some Alzheimer's sufferers never wander, while others wander repeatedly, and the behavior is difficult to predict.
It can take place in the early stages, before a diagnosis and in other dementia-type diseases.
While most patients will wander on foot, 44 percent of people with Alzheimer's disease commonly get lost while behind the wheel of a car. Forty percent of those with Alzheimer's who drive are involved in crashes, according to a study published in the Journal of the American Geriatric Society.
Risks of Wandering
Finding the Alzheimer's sufferer can pose challenges for caregivers and for law enforcement.
"A wandering person may experience a catastrophic reaction," says Flaherty. "They will hide or crawl into places that unless the search team is trained to look in, they'll miss."
A patient who wanders can be at risk of dehydration, drowning, exposure to extreme heat or cold if improperly dressed, and rarely, victimization by criminals.
"It is really frightening, especially when you don't know that they have wandered off," says Janice Billingslea, of Fayetteville, Ga. Her 81-year-old mother-in-law has wandered "over a dozen times" in the past six years.
"I didn't think it was going to be this hard," Billingslea says. "She disappears so quickly."
"The first time it happened we were living in the city and early one morning she had gotten up and dressed herself and wandered off. We thought that she was in her room asleep." She had walked to the next county by the time she was located four hours later".
To help in preventing those suffering from Alzheimer's from wandering away unnoticed, the latest in GPS technology now comes in the form of a digital wrist watch with a "lockable" watch strap.Generating an out-of-range alert once the watch travels a certain distance away from the portable receiver, the watch will also send out email and text messages. This allows care providers to conduct immediate GPS tracking as to the watches exact location, with updates every 2 minutes.
For more information on the Freedom GPS Watch, contact Blackridge Solutions at: (778) 686-5799 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Alzheimer’s is a disorienting disease that causes wandering in patients who have difficulty remembering their name, and even their home. According to the Alzheimer’s Association, anyone suffering from memory problems is at risk for wandering, even those in the early stages of dementia. Six in ten people with dementia will wander, and as the disease progresses, a person can become disoriented for longer periods of time. Many caregivers are now turning to tracking technology to prevent these emergencies.
Here are ways you can use GPS tracking to prevent accidents amongst loved ones.
Alzheimer’s Wandering and Tracking Technology
There are many methods and services that you can use to help keep your loved ones with dementia safe, but tracking technology is becoming an increasing popular and more viable option for caregivers.
Focused on preventing emergencies in people with Alzheimer’s and other cognitive disorders, Blackridge Solutions has advised and supported patients and caregivers for more than 4 years with GPS tracking. Each year, the company helps families by providing them with the technology and training to keep their loved ones safe. Its practice of working with trained public safety agencies, like law enforcement, fire and rescue teams, and first responders, allow them, when necessary, to quickly locate wandering individuals.
Reducing Alzheimer’s Wandering with GPS Tracking
Blackridge Solutions mission is to “improve the quality of life” and they do this through tracking technology that can locate an individual, and then notify a caregiver if that individual is safe, or if they have left their “safe zone.”
Blackridge Solutions has added new technology to their product portfolio that can not only locate an individual if they go missing, but can also provide a radio frequency safe zone around them that notifies the caregiver in the event an “at risk” individual breaches this established safe zone.
Individuals can wear the small Freedom GPS Watch, which has an individualized signal and a lockable watch strap, as it functions as a digital wrist watch. Then, if a loved one wanders beyond the safe zone created by the Portable Receiver, the Monitoring Center will immediately advise the caregiver and then begin tracking the individual on a secure web portal, which will display their current location and movement direction via GPS tracking points on a detailed map. Most recovery times average around 30 minutes.
What to Do When Your Loved One Wanders
Blackridge Solutions encourages caregivers and families of Alzheimer’s patients to use GPS tracking, but to also start with a plan to help keep loved ones safe.
The stress experienced by families and caregivers when a person with dementia wanders and becomes lost is significant. Have a plan in place beforehand, so you know what to do in case of an emergency.
If your loved one is beginning to exhibit wandering behaviors, they recommend you:
In the event of a crisis, these steps and GPS tracking technology will allow for the quick location and safe return of your loved one.
For further information, please contact Blackridge Solutions at (778) 686-5799 or email@example.com Website: www.BlackridgeSolutions.com
The U.S. Justice Department will now cover the cost of GPS tracking devices for children with severe autism and other similar conditions, New York Senator Charles Schumer announced Wednesday. Sen. Schumer has been pushing for the move since the disappearance and death of Avonte Oquendo in October last year
Schumer said the voluntary-use GPS tracking devices will be like those used to track people suffering from Alzheimer’s for which the DOJ already provides grants, The New York Times reports..
The push for the government to cover the cost of GPS tracking for autistic children comes in response to the death of Avonte Oquendo, a severely autistic, non-verbal 14-year-old who disappeared from his Queens, New York school on October 4 last year. His remains were later found in the East River, but the cause of his death remains unknown.
Schumer said he will continue to press for legislation to secure long-term federal funding for the devices.
Read more: Justice Department: Feds to Pay for GPS Trackers for Autistic Kids | TIME.com http://swampland.time.com/2014/01/29/justice-department-gps-trackers-autistic/#ixzz2rvD8JSNZ