GPS tracking for elderly care may not be something you have ever considered. After all, long-term care for our elderly loved ones is a sensitive topic, especially when discussing the needs of those suffering from mental illnesses like Alzheimer’s or dementia. Taking care of them may mean living with them to provide in-home care, arranging home caregivers, or finding a suitable facility for them to live in.
One nightmare scenario in any of these situations is if a loved one with these disorders disappears. Whether they’re confused or otherwise, they go wandering. This can lead to a dangerous situation as they may not remember how to get back home. In those scenarios, it’s best to locate them as quickly as possible to make sure they’re safe and sound.
What if you never needed to worry about a scenario like that again? With GPS tracking for elderly care, you have the ability to locate your loved one at your fingertips—wherever they go, you can find them quickly and return them to safety.
The importance of consent with GPS Tracking
Tracking a person to make sure you know wherever they go may sound right out of a science fiction novel. However, tracking information is available in plenty of scenarios. You might not think about it often, but it happens on your phone all the time! The important thing when discussing the legality and ethics of GPS tracking is that it revolves around consent.
Consent to be tracked is vital and, when a loved one is diagnosed with dementia, is still possible to be obtained in certain situations. It could be an important habit for them to cultivate at the top of their diagnosis to always have that GPS wristband on their person.
In the event that your loved one is incapable of consent, there are ways to establish guardianship or conservatorship. In that case, the consent falls to the person assigned to make the decisions that are in your loved one’s best interests.
GPS tracking does not have to be an invasion of privacy (and shouldn’t be!) and communication is key to deciding whether this is the best decision for your family.
How GPS tracking can help
As WSFA 12 News reports in Alabama, a 90-year-old Alzheimer’s patient went missing and was eventually found dead. Before he went missing, his family had been keeping up diligent at-home care for him and he was still capable of driving a vehicle. Law enforcement estimates that, while driving in the forest, he got his truck stuck in a large puddle and exited the vehicle in the hopes of finding a familiar road. Unfortunately, he became lost and continued to wander.
It is unclear how much his Alzheimer’s was to blame, but authorities estimate they found him only 10 hours after he had succumbed to the elements. As illustrated by this tragedy, families do their best to take care of their loved ones, and—on the off-chance that someone becomes lost—minutes can be precious.
By talking about the needs of tracking family members, you can track an elder’s vehicle or themselves with a hardware-based GPS device. These devices are small and lightweight, making them easy to have on your person. Depending on the tracker you invest in, their battery life can last between 7-21 days—which is plenty of time to realize your loved one is gone, call up their location, and find them again.
Ensuring your loved ones are safe with GPS tracking
KENS5 News in Texas reported that law enforcement issued a Silver Alert when a 77-year old left his assisted living facility without alerting the staff. He’d recently been diagnosed with dementia and, due to a stroke, had trouble communicating. Thankfully, almost two days later, authorities called off the Silver Alert as he’d been found and returned to the assisted living facility.
Keeping track of an elderly loved one is one thing. Keeping track of dozens of residents in a long-term care facility is quite another. While your business does its best to monitor each of your clients, moments like this may still occur. And while it’s tempting to play the blame game as to who’s responsible for that slip, it doesn’t matter much while the search is ongoing.
With an investment in GPS trackers, an assisted living facility may have a whole new option for tracking their elderly clients. Logistimatics offers reliable, easy-to-use trackers that can all be located from a master app on an administrator’s mobile phone or personal computer.
The value of GPS tracking even if this happens
That’s a risk, sure. Back to the topic of consent, if a person doesn’t want to be tracked, there’s no making them keep their tracker on them. But when confusion strikes and a loved one wanders, there’s no telling what’s on their mind.
If they discard the GPS tracker, you’ll know where they were. If they don’t, you’ll know where they are. Both are vital pieces of information while looking for them.
GPS tracking for elderly care = peace of mind for you
Having a GPS tracker isn’t some Big Brother ploy, nor is it a method of restricting someone from going places. It’s yet another tool in maintaining and securing the health of your loved ones. As a family providing in-home care, GPS tracking provides another way of locating them and ensuring they stay safe. As a business, having GPS trackers for your elderly clients supports their health and lends peace of mind to their families.
With Logistimatics, you have access to a variety of GPS trackers, including the tiny and compact Pocket Tracker that might be a great fit for this case. Combine that with a low-cost, dedicated app for our devices that updates the tracker’s real-time location every few seconds and you have a no-hassle, easy-to-use method of tracking anything.
If you have any questions regarding how GPS trackers can help you in your long-term care situation, we have a knowledge base and customer service representatives to help you. If you need to consider dozens of trackers at once, please contact our sales team for a thorough breakdown of our products and services.