GPS helps dementia patients stay independent

GPS helps dementia patients stay independent

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The London Borough of Ealing is piloting a scheme that tracks mild dementia patients using GPS and mobile phones, allowing carers to find them if they get lost.

The system, which was developed in partnership with Dr Frank Miskelly, from Charing Cross Hospital, involves dementia sufferers wearing a GPS-enabled mobile in a secure holster when they go out. Should they become disoriented, their position can be pinpointed by satellite technology.

A spokesperson for Ealing Council explained how the system works: “If someone does wander off, the carer contacts the control centre and gives the control centre a unique PIN. As long as the person has the mobile phone, is wearing it and has it switched on they can see on a map where the person is and collect them.”

Fifteen people being cared for in their own homes volunteered to be part of the scheme. Ealing Council hopes that the pilot will give extra support and reassurance to families and carers of those with dementia.