A newly marketed shoe with a built-in global positioning system has become the latest tool available to quickly track seniors with Alzheimer's disease and dementia sufferers who wander away from their homes and loved ones.
The Alzheimer's Association reports sixty percent of individuals affected by Alzheimer's will wander away and get lost at least once during the progression of the memory robbing disease, one-in-seven of these seniors will get lost more than once, with many becoming unaware of their surroundings multiple times.
Finding them quickly is crucial to the safety and well-being of an individual afflicted with Alzheimer's or dementia. The latest tool in keeping up with your loved one who may become disoriented and confused is shoes that track the wearer through a GPS device embedded in the sole.
The shoe manufacturer, GTX Corp. says the shoes will bring you "piece of mind" in the event a family member or someone in your care becomes lost. The GPS tracking device can locate a missing loved one within 37 feet of their location at anytime using a downloadable Internet program and can be set up to send an alert if the person leaves a predesignated safe zone.
"Wandering can have terrible consequences," said Ruth Gay, public policy and advocacy director for the Alzheimer’s Association in Northern California and Nevada. "It's a very big safety issue. We do know that if people aren’t found within 24 hours, the risk of death goes up substantially. They don’t always know how to protect themselves from the elements or find a safe location,” she said, reports CBS News.
Gay says products like the GPS shoes have been needed for years, will help locate missing loved ones and people who are at high risk.
The shoes, developed after the Elizabeth Smart abduction, were certified by the Federal Communications Commission this year, reports Fox News. They are one of a number of GPS embedded devices that include wristwatches, pendants and bracelets used to track children, seniors, and individuals with Alzheimer's disease.
Patrick Bertagna, chief executive of GTX Corp., said the stamp of approval by the FCC is "a significant milestone for the company. The GPS enabled shoes will ease the enormous physical and emotional burden borne by Alzheimer's victims, caregivers and their geographically distant family members."