Last week the City of Halifax launched a pilot program to monitor patients suffering from Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia. The program uses a GPS tracking system to monitor the patients’ whereabouts.
Unfortunately wandering seems to be a frequent occurrence for many Alzheimer’s patients. Several studies have shown that 60% of all patients with Alzheimer’s will become lost at least once. Even more shocking is that nearly 50% of them can die from dehydration, exposure or injury if they aren’t found within the first 24 hours.
The new program will require patients to wear bracelets equipped with GPS tracking technology. The tracking system and bracelet, manufactured by Laipac Technology Inc., will be able to provide real-time tracking information on the patient’s whereabouts.
If a patient wanders off or goes missing, the Halifax police will then be able to use this information to track and locate the missing individual.
The tracking system also has a shock sensor to detect if a patient slips and falls, and it will notify the police immediately if this sensor goes off. The system can help patients make voice calls to up to 14 phone numbers, including 4 quick-dial numbers, in the event of an emergency.
The Alzheimer’s Tracking System is a joint effort between Halifax Regional Police and The Alzheimers’ Society of Nova Scotia.
The pilot program is currently recruiting participants 55 years and older who suffer from Alzheimer’s or other related diseases. For more information, please go to the Alzheimer’s Society of Nova Scotia.