Location Devices and Trackers for Dementia

Written By: the Editorial Team.  Last Updated: October 27, 2020.

 

Location Tracking Devices, Trackers for Dementia

 

Location Devices and Trackers can play an important role in dementia care and management. They can also be useful for people with mild cognitive impairment, who can become confused or disoriented.

 

This article is for people thinking about how to help a parent, spouse, or friend with mild cognitive impairment or early or mid-stage dementia. It's also for anyone worried they might in the future become a person with dementia, and wondering what technology to adopt that can help them compensate for the negative effects of dementia for as long as possible.

Here is the hope:

  • If used appropriately, location devices and dementia trackers have the potential to prolong the time during which a person with cognitive impairment can maintain autonomy and independence.
     
  • They may also alleviate some of the stress and worry on the part of caregivers of those with dementia.

But, as with much of our research, you need to pick the right type of product for any specific life situation — and there is no such thing as the "best" location device for all circumstances. This article aims to help with that.

 

Overview

The basic concept of a location device or tracker for dementia is that the person with dementia carries with them some type of small "thing" (a tag or smartphone or watch, for example) that is capable of "knowing" where it is, and communicating that information.

In one scenario, a person with mild cognitive impairment can use the location information as a sort of "memory aid" — to help them get where they want to go, or compensate for forgetfulness or disorientation. Many of us already use this type of tool (in the form of Google Maps or Apple Maps) to help navigate around town.

In a quite different scenario, the "thing" on a person with dementia can relay that information back to some type of "receiver" (eg an App on a smartphone), which is in the hands of a second person (the caregiver or friend of the person with dementia).

In this article, we explore the situations and use cases in which different types of location devices and trackers can be useful for dementia (e.g. Alzheimer's) or other forms of cognitive impairment. And we look at a variety of specific product types and individual products to see which are most suitable in the different life situations.

In the right situations, these products can help older adults stay independent for longer, and we look at the balance between independence and autonomy, and privacy — which is a critical aspect of using these products.

We also cover how to select the right product, and what features and tradeoffs matter in different situations.

 

Table of Contents

  • Why Location Devices are Relevant in Managing Dementia
  • How Location  Devices & Dementia Trackers Work
  • How to Choose the Right Product: Key Features & Decisions
  • Types of Location Devices and Trackers for Dementia 
  • Specific Recommendations
  • Autonomy, Control, Safety and Privacy

 

 

Why Location Devices are Relevant in Managing Dementia

Episodes of disorientation and forgetfulness are a common symptom of Mild Cognitive Impairment (MCI), Dementia, and other diseases like Parkinson's that can affect cognition. Location devices and trackers come into play when these episodes of disorientation happen somewhere other than in the home.

As an example, consider a person with relatively mild dementia, who has a very well established routine, and can function well so long as he/she is in familiar surroundings or environment. But if something changes, for example a detour while driving, or the need to go to an unfamiliar place, or just a "senior moment", the person might find herself confused about where to go and in need of a tool or person to provide a little help.

 

Different Scenarios and Use Cases

Here are four scenarios we are going to focus on in this article.

  • Scenario 1: For people who are "just forgetful" (or have MCI), all they may need is their own "tool" they can use to remind themselves where they are, or how to get to their destination, or how to get "home". 
     
  • Scenario 2: In other situations, the person may need "help" from a caregiver or friend to remind them, or point them in the right direction, or reassure them.
     
  • Scenario 3: In more severe cases of dementia, in which a person wanders away from their home and may get lost, a caregiver or friend or healthcare worker needs to be able to locate that person and send help.
     
  • Scenario 4: As dementia advances, it may well also be desirable to have some type of perimeter alert that can notify a caregiver if the person with dementia travels beyond some pre-determined "safe zone". The safe zone might be small (like a house or garden), or it might be quite large (like a town).

It's important to note that, in cases of more severe dementia when patients may make a habit of wandering and may become lost, the preferred solution is to try and avoid situations where the dementia patient goes out alone.

But whatever solution is implemented to "keep them in their home ", sometimes it fails. And then you need to know where that person has gone in order to help them and keep them safe. In these cases, think of location devices as the "backup" rather than the first line of defense against something bad happening.

To further set the stage for this article about dementia tracking devices, you can read an example of how one person deployed various "gadgets" to help in a specific situation of more advanced dementia in Frank Engelman's article: "Dealing with a Wandering Loved One with Alzheimer’s".

 

 

How Location  Devices & Dementia Trackers Work

Being able to know where someone is at a given point in time is the essence of this category of products.

In 2020, they all work in a similar way. The person to be located or tracked needs to have a "thing" on them, which can locate itself using some type of reference (eg the network of GPS satellites circling the earth).

In some scenarios, the "thing" also needs to be capable of sending a signal to some sort of receiver that tells the person holding the receiver where the person they are trying to locate is.

The "thing" that is on the person being "located" is usually a pendant, or a tag, or a watch, or a bracelet, or a cellphone.

In the scenarios where a second person needs to do the "locating", the "thing" sends a signal to the "receiver" which is in the hands of the person doing the locating. The receiver is usually an App on a smartphone or a computer, although it can also be a small piece of stand alone electronics.

There are two pieces of key technology involved. The "thing" on the person being tracked needs to be able to figure out where it is. This is often done with GPS, although there are other technologies also used (cell tower triangulation, WiFi, or Bluetooth for example).

For reasons of battery management, the "thing" typically locates itself every few minutes (somewhere between 5-30 minutes is a common setting), or even less frequently for some products. So, as you use these products, you need to keep in mind that the location is sometimes "not exactly current".

Different products have different approaches to managing this, including some which allow you to "request a location update" when you need it.

The "thing" also needs to be able to send a signal to the receiver. This is often done via the cellular network. But some of the examples below use other more complex approaches.

Exactly which combination of the technologies is used in a given product has important implications and affects:

  • the range over which it can track someone; 
  • its size and weight; and
  • the life of the battery in the "thing".

 

 

 

How to Choose the Right Product: Key Features & Decisions

We described some broad scenarios or "use cases" above. Each of them lends itself to a different type of solution. And there are some "preference" things to consider too.

Here are the big things to consider.

 

What Will They Wear?

All the solutions we know of involve some type of "thing" that needs to be with the person with dementia who we want to be able to locate.

This means that absolutely critical questions are: "Which object will they be willing to always carry with them / on them? And will they remember to do that?"

There are a variety of solutions to this that people have come up with. Given that the person likely has dementia, remembering (new) things is not something you can count on.

One approach is to have the "thing" be something the person is already accustomed to carry at all times. So, for people who never leave home without their cellphone, this is an obvious form for the "thing" to take.

Likewise, if people always wear a watch, and they get accustomed to wearing the right sort of "location capable" watch before dementia gets too entrenched, a location detecting smart watch could be a great choice.

Other solutions that people try include: 

  • a pendant; or
  • some type of tag that can be attached to clothing; or
  • a shoe liner that goes into their shoes.

The key question is: "What will they actually wear / carry?"

 

Do They Also Need a Medical Alert?

Some medical alerts, which typically take the form of a pendant or a watch, incorporate the location tracking capability already.

So, if they need a medical alert, or better still if they already are accustomed to wearing one, then an excellent approach is just choosing the right medical alert that includes the appropriate type of location tracking for a specific usage scenario.

 

Tracking vs Geo-fencing

In some use cases, you just want to be able to know where they are in case of an emergency. Most of the products we consider do that.

But in some other scenarios, you want to set things up so that an alert is triggered and sent to you / someone if the person with dementia leaves a certain specified geographical area. For example, if they leave your garden, or if they leave your town, or if they go more than 10 miles away, etc etc.

This capability is called "geo-fencing". Only some of the products have this capability, so if you consider it important you need to be sure to look for that feature.

 

Cellular Coverage

Many of the products use the cellular network to send a signal between the "thing" attached to the person with dementia and the person who is tracking them. This only works if there is good cellular coverage in the area where you want it all to work. This is often not a big challenge. But in some isolated or rural areas, if there is no cell coverage, then these devices will not work.

You also need to be aware of which cellular "carrier" a given product is using (e.g. AT&T, T Mobile, Verizon etc), and make sure that the carrier has good coverage in your geography.

Another thing to watch out for is what type of cellular network the device is using. Modern devices use the 4G cell network, or perhaps the older 3G network. However there are still some devices that use the 2G network, which is rather outdated. We suggest staying away from products that use a 2G network.

 

Batteries and Charging

All the Location devices and Trackers rely on there being some type of electronics incorporated into the "thing" that is  "with" the person with dementia. This means there is a battery involved, which needs to be recharged regularly or replaced regularly.

How often recharging needs to happen depends on the specific product details, and can range from "daily" to "a week — or even more in some situations". [See the Public Service Agency Section for a product with much longer battery life].

This may or may not be important, depending on things like whether or not the person with dementia lives alone. But it is an important detail to consider.

 

Other Features That May Matter

As we talk with people looking for products like these, some other key concerns they have include:

  1. Reliability: this is hard to quantify, and we have not tried to do so. 
  2. Accuracy of Location: this relates mostly to the exact technology they use. See a broader discussion of location accuracy as it relates to medical alerts using GPS technology.
  3. Speed of response for a perimeter alert: how quickly will you get an alert after the person you are worried about moves outside the "safe zone".

 

 

Types of Location Devices and Trackers for Dementia 

There are several categories of location device. See the discussion below for a discussion of each category. Each category represents a different type of "thing" which the person with dementia or MCI needs to carry with them.

 

Smartphone

The simplest situation is one in which the person with cognitive impairment or dementia has a smartphone, and is accustomed to carry their smartphone with them at all times, and keeps it turned on. Unfortunately, in our experience, there are many people who would benefit from a location tracker for whom these conditions do not apply. 

 

Basic Location Apps

In this situation there are a variety of Apps that can be installed on the smartphones of both the person with cognition issues and the "caregiver". These Apps are set up with the ability to perform the "locating" functionality. Some can also perform the geofencing capability.

In the scenario where the person with cognitive issues just needs a "tool", and is still able to use regular consumer Apps, the mapping apps that come with most smartphones work well.

In scenarios where there is a second person involved (a "caregiver"), then something a bit different is required. In that case, what is needed is an App that allows the caregiver to locate the person with cognition issues.

In the Apple Universe, the ability for a friend or family member to know where you are is already built into the iPhone or AppleWatch with the App called "Find My" which comes with the iPhone.

And in the iOS 14 operating system, Apple has added some additional capabilities to help locate family members. For example, you can set notifications that alert you when your "friend" leaves or arrives at any one of a number of locations. Or when your friend is "not at" a specific location. It also lets you add a "radius" to a location. As best we can tell from initial testing, this capability allows quite a good "geofencing" capability for Apple products (phone and watch).

In the Android Universe, you need to use some of the Apps mentioned below.

 

Enhanced Functionality Location Apps

There are quite a few Apps that you can add to the smartphone to get "enhanced functionality" with respect to the location capability we are considering in this article.

For Android people, they allow the basic "find a person" capability, which Apple people get automatically with "Find My".

Most of these apps include the ability to geofence — and thus get notified when the person you are "tracking" leaves some pre-designated area or zone. Many of these apps have other additional features, but it is unclear how relevant they are to the scenarios we are considering in this article.

We did not try and evaluate them all, but we think of them as falling into these three groups:

  • Apps designed to help "keep track of your kids and other family members". 
  • Medical Alert Apps designed to work on a smartphone without needing a pendant or watch.
  • Special Purpose "Dementia or Caregiving Apps". 

 

Apps designed to help "keep track of your kids and other family members".

These might easily be repurposed to keep track of a person with dementia who always carries a smartphone. There are a lot of these Apps. For example, a Google search on "kid tracking apps" will suggest a lot of choices. One App mentioned by several of the Longevity Explorers as being useful for location tracking is Life360.

 

Medical Alert Apps designed to work on a smartphone without needing a pendant or watch.

We have evaluated medical alert apps in the past (see Best Medical Alert App: Bake-off).

To get an email when we update the Medical Alert App coverage to include more details about location tracking and geofencing: 

 

Special Purpose "Dementia or Caregiving Apps".

While there are some Apps in this category, we have not found any we especially like for dementia tracking.

For a person who always carries a smartphone, we think the Apps that fall into the kid tracking / family member tracking category (above) are worth considering. But, for people with more significant dementia, we think they are better off with a different wearable "thing", discussed in one of the other categories below.

 

 

Medical Alerts that Locate

If the person with dementia needs a medical alert as well as the location tracking capability, then the obvious solution is to pick one of the medical alerts that come with location tracking capability.

These come in a variety of form factors, including pendants and watches.

This category of product usually includes a GPS capability that allows the emergency responder to locate the device (and thus the wearer). Some of the devices make it possible for a "caregiver" to locate the wearer of the medical alert too. However some devices do not make this information accessible.

One word of caution. Many medical alerts allow you to locate the wearer, but do not let you set geofencing areas and trigger an alert when the wearer leaves that area. This might be problematic in some situations.

If you think this category of product is the right one for you, this general category of medical alerts is what we call the "Go anywhere" or "Mobile" medical alert. In addition, a very relevant sub-category is smartwatches that also act as medical alerts. See our current recommendations for both these categories at the links below.

Want to be updated when we add more detailed coverage digging into exactly which medical alerts do and do not have location tracking? 

 

 

Watches or Bracelets

In the last year or two, a number of products have come to market that have the form factor of a watch, and which are designed to serve the function of a watch as well as a location tracker, with dementia patients specifically in mind.

Many of these products have been designed specifically with dementia patients in mind, and typically include location tracking, and geofencing. Some have locking clasps.

There are also some watches that can operate as medical alerts (See Smartwatch as Medical Alert?), and all of these include the location capability we are discussing here.

The products we are currently exploring for dementia locating / tracking include:

  • AppleWatch You can use the AppleWatch with the "Find My"App and get basic location (and geofencing capabilities with iOS 14), or add special "Dementia Tracking Apps" — such as BoundaryCare that adds geofencing with some subtly different capabilities.
  • Theora Care (available in North America).
  • TechSilver (available only in the EU and UK).
  • Safetracks TriLoc Watch (May be available "soon" according to the company. Not available in Sept. 2020 when we wrote this. Safetracks now sells the TheoraCare product).
  • SOS watch (available only in Australia).
  • LaiPac LooK watch (Canadian company. Product designed to work in most countries. Current version uses the 3G network, but a newer one (LooK II) using 4G is "being developed".)

There is a school of thought that a watch form factor is especially appropriate for dementia patients, because:

  • (a) they might already be accustomed to wear a watch every day anyway — so they might adapt easily to this "dementia watch"; and / or
     
  • (b) a watch can be provided with a "locking clasp" — that makes it hard or impossible for the dementia patient to take it off.

We don't have any data yet about how correct these ideas are. But the idea of accustoming a person to wear a type of watch which can provide these types of location features as dementia progresses, seems like a good one to us, and worth trying.

The idea of a locking clasp raises obvious questions of autonomy. And we worry about the possibility of a locking clasp causing agitation in some dementia patients. On the other hand, there may well be situations (likely for more advanced dementia situations) in which the tradeoffs between safety and autonomy make this type of approach desirable.

Scroll down to the section near the end on autonomy, privacy, and safety for more on how to think about these issues.

We are considering a more detailed comparison of these Watches or Bracelets that can track location in dementia patients. If you would like to be notifed when that becomes available:

 

 

GPS Trackers for Dementia (Tags or Pendants)

There is an entire category of product, called GPS trackers, that are designed to locate things.

They include some type of "tag" that can be worn as a pendant, attached to clothing, attached to the collar of a pet, or attached to a vehicle or boat.

The tag uses GPS to locate itself, and the cellular network to communicate back to some type of app or receiver and share its location.

Several of these are on the market, focused on helping to "locate your kid". Others are designed to "locate your pet". These can also be used to "locate a person with dementia".

Here are some examples:

 

The big question for this category of products is whether the specific dementia patient in question will carry this device on them at all times.

 

This will vary from person to person. Some people try hiding it in a purse, or attaching it to clothing.

We have not done hands-on testing of these GPS personal trackers, but from what we see online, we would give the Jiobit a try. It gets good reviews on Amazon, the company is based in the USA, and they appear to have given considerable thought to security, which we think is important.The Jiobit claims a battery life of "up to a week", which is good for this type of product.

If you try it out, please come back and add a comment and tell us how it went.

One word of caution: Please note that some vendors may say their device is a GPS tracker, but all it does is record the elder’s travels for later review when they return. This is not useful for the scenarios we are covering in this piece of research.

 

 

GPS Trackers (other form factors). The "Shoe Insert".

Some people have found difficulty using the conventional GPS trackers above (with a form factor of a pendant or tag) due to the challenge of getting a person with dementia to carry the tag at all times.

One interesting design approach has been to incorporate the GPS tracker into a special "shoe insert". The specific product that comes in this form factor is called:

This is a very interesting idea. As of October 2020 this product is being reengineered to incorporate some newer technology and is unavailable. However the company tells us it will soon be reintroduced, and at that point it is an important solution.

The potential benefit of this approach is that it can be inserted into a pair of shoes that the dementia patient wears regularly, and the person will automatically put on their shoes without worrying about whether or not the tracker is attached to them (see section on autonomy and privacy).

Some of our Longevity Explorers feel this is a pretty good idea in situations where a person has fairly significant dementia. However, other explorers commented that: "I have lots of pairs of shoes. Would you need a GPS smartsole for every pair of shoes?"

When the new model comes out, we want to see how exactly you charge them. Do you need to remove the shoe insert each day for charging and then put it back? Little details like this can be important.

 

 

Perimeter Alerts

Many of the form factors above can come with geofencing capability, which gives you an alert when the person moves outside a designated zone.

They typically use a GPS location capability in the "thing" attached to the person being tracked. Then you identify where on a map you want the "safe zone" to be, and the system sends an alert when the "thing" has crossed the bondary of the safe zone.

Due to the GPS location happening intermittently, this is not a solution for an "immediate alert" the instant the person crosses a boundary. That is probably fine if you just want to be notified if the person goes well off track on a walk, or leaves the town.

But if you are counting on a perimeter alert to let you know a person went out the front door, so you can run after them, a different approach is required.

 

Door Alarms

There is a different class of product that we think of as "door alarms", designed for the use case in which you need an immediate alert when a person leaves the house. We don't cover these products in this article. In senior living settings, a common approach is to use a product called "WanderGuard". For consumer products, Google "door alarms dementia".

These products use a different technological approach than GPS, and allow more instantaneous "alarming" as a result.

 

Separation Alerts

Devices like smart watches or GPS tracker tags often also include technologies like WiFi and Bluetooth inside them, that can provide instantaneous communication with nearby smartphones or your WiFi home router.

In principle, this technology can enable you to get immediate "alerts" when the "thing" on the person moves out of the relatively short range of the WiFi or Bluetooth signal — thus providing a type of (instantaneous) "Separation Alert".

A number of the products discussed above do not seem to include this capability. But several do, including most of the special "dementia watches". If you need this capability, you need to read the fine print for the products to check they include this capability.

For several DIY solutions to the challenge of getting "separation alerts" see: Dealing with a Wandering Loved One with Alzheimer's and Dementia Patient Wanders (Living at Home)

 

 

Trackers Using Other Technologies

There are situations where the GPS trackers are not quite what you need. For example:

  • there is no cellular coverage in the area you want the tracker to work;
  • you need a much smaller form factor, or a much longer battery life.

In these situations, there are some interesting "emerging technologies" under development. But they are not yet commercially available.

For those interested in "promising future developments", CareBand is working on an intriguing new product in this space, and is profiled by the National Institute on Aging in this NIA Small Business Showcase: CareBand, Inc. [Disclosure: Tech-enhanced Life is helping to execute a research project with CareBand, funded by a grant awarded to CareBand by the NIA]. A company called Lineable is working on a product using related technology in South Korea.

Or, there are some "workarounds", using technologies like Bluetooth, that are not really designed specifically for this use case. To see how aging-tech DIY guru Frank Engleman tried to address a specific problem that needed a unique solution, see:

There are also some special purpose radio technologies that are in use by Public Service Agencies. See below.

 

Public Service Agency Services and Technologies

There are at least two organizations we are aware of that offer a solution to dementia wandering designed for high risk situations (eg high risk of "elopement").

These solutions differ from the consumer products above in three important ways.

  1. The person with dementia wears a wrist bracelet that incorporates a different type of RF signal technology — which is capable of sending out a signal over a relatively long distance and being detected with some special purpose "tracking receivers".
     
  2. These systems are tightly integrated with Public Service Agencies (PSA's: for example the police or fire brigade), and the person wearing the wrist bracelet has an id number that the PSA is aware of. If the person gets "lost", you notify the PSA — and they go out and find the person with dementia, using their special purpose tracking receivers.
     
  3. As a result of the specific technology these products use, they have a much longer battery life than most of the products we are considering. In one case, the company claims batteries last for "six months".

The organizations that provide these products and services are:

We have not tried to evaluate these technologies for this article. We suspect they might well be more "perfect" than the consumer products above — as far as locating someone is concerned. And in case of emergency, it would certainly be nice for a PSA to be searching for your loved one.

On the other hand, registering a person as an "elopement risk" with a PSA, and having them wear a special bracelet at all times, is a step many might find to be extreme.

 

 

Specific Recommendations

Choosing the right product depends heavily on the specific scenario. In addition, it depends heavily on what exactly you think the person with cognitive impairment is most likely to actually wear — both now, and in the future if their cognition worsens.

 

Scenario 1: Mild Cognitive Impairment. Needs a "Help Tool" They can Use for Themselves.

In this situation, we think it makes a lot of sense for the person with cognitive impairment to grow accustomed to using navigation apps on a smartphone, carrying the smartphone with them at all times, and ideally growing accustomed to some type of wearable that has functionality that can expand if they need it, as cognition worsens.

A smart watch has the big advantage of providing lots of other "useful" features, and not being stigmatizing. And it makes possible the additional location capabilities that may be needed as dementia progresses.

For those who like the idea of a medical alert pendant, that is also a good option — so long as you choose one that allows a caregiver to do the locating if needed, and provides suitable controls that "manage" which caregivers can do that locating. But be aware that most medical alerts (in 2020) do not include a geofencing "alert" capability.

 

Scenario 2: Person with Dementia Needs to be Able to "Ask for Help" if They Get Lost or Disoriented.

People in this scenario need to think about from whom the dementia patient will be comfortable getting "help".

There are two approaches. Some of the products can connect the dementia patient at the push of a button to friends or family they can talk to. Others have a "professional responder", who will respond and give assistance at the push of the button.

Which would a person prefer? And will they actually press the button in case of need? These are the key questions to think about.

A smartwatch or smartphone with the appropriate apps can allow any combination of these features. The medical alerts typically involve talking to a professional responder.

 

Scenario 3: Caregiver Needs a Way to Locate Person with Dementia.

Most of the products mentioned here will make this possible. The big issue is which form factor the person with dementia actually will wear.

 

Scenario 4: Caregiver Needs a "Perimeter Alert".

This is a bit different to the other scenarios. And if you need this, you will likely also need the features of scenario 3.

If you just need a perimeter alert for a geography, and don't mind if the alert is relatively slow, then the various geo-fencing solutions above should work pretty well. Just be aware that the GPS location process happens intermittently (for example, every five minutes or every 15 minutes are common settings) to help manage battery life. So the "alert" may happen some time after the person leaves the area.

If you need a more "instant" perimeter alert, then you may need a different approach. See the discussion of "Separation Alerts" above.

 

 

Autonomy, Control, Safety and Privacy

Like many "caregiving products", these location devices and trackers raise important issues of privacy, control, and autonomy. 

One of the things that come up again and again in conversations among groups of older adults is the desire to maintain autonomy (some call it independence) as long as is realistic.

Of course, declining cognition impacts the ability to stay independent in many ways. And at some point, as dementia progesses, autonomy probably has to become limited to keep the person healthy and safe.

There are also often tradeoffs to be made between autonomy and privacy, and between safety and privacy.

For example, if someone knows where you are at all times, that may well enhance your safety. But it definitely impinges on your privacy.

And, if the alternatives are "don't leave the house", or "go where you want, but surrender some privacy so we can help if something goes wrong", that is a tradeoff between autonomy and privacy many would choose to make.

 

Key Questions

In our mind, the key things that matter with respect to these tradeoffs are:

  • Who gets to decide? Is it the older adult? Or their family? Or the government? Or the healthcare system?
  • When does it switch from being you who gets to decide, to someone else getting to decide on your behalf?

These are complex questions that vary from person to person, and life situation to life situation. Think about these as you decide whether or not the location devices we talk about here are appropriate in your situation.

There are two other important questions for this class of products.

  1. Who exactly can see where the person being located or tracked is? [And who decides who can see?]
     
  2. Can the system be hacked so others can see?

Any decision about "which product to choose" should take the first of these questions into account and make sure the product handles these issues as you would prefer.

As far as "hacking" is concerned, it is probably fair to assume that all of these products "can" be hacked. So you need to decide the benefits outweigh this negative.

 

 

 

Add Your Experiences

Have you tried any of the products here? Or do you have a different scenario you need help with, other than those covered here?

Please share your learnings and questions using the comment section below.

 

 

 

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Detailed Reviews

Apple Watch as Medical Alert

Apple Watch as Medical Alert

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Featured Research

 

Medical Alert Systems: Help

Medical Alert Systems GuideWe kept getting asked "which medical alert system is best?"; and "how do I choose the right medical alert system for me?". This independent, objective, hands-on research tries to answer those questions. If you are looking for a medical alert system, either for yourself or for an older adult such as a parent, this piece of research is for you.

Choose the Right Medical Alert System for YOU

 

Useful Apps Club

Useful Apps ClubUnlock the potential of your smartphone or tablet to improve your life. The Useful Apps Club is for older adults and Boomers who have a smartphone or tablet (or are thinking of getting one) and need help to turn it into a useful tool. We are focused on finding Apps that can change your life, and teaching you how to use them. 

View: The Useful Apps Club

 

Reduce Fall Risk

Avoid FallsRead the "best of the web" on: Avoiding Falling. Our team of clinicians and citizen analysts has scoured the web for the best available answers to a set of questions designed to help you make falling less likely, and make the consequences if you do fall less bad.

View: Avoid the Perils of Falling

 

Avoid Social Isolation & Loneliness

isolation and lonelinessOur community is exploring ways to avoid becoming isolated and lonely as we grow older. See what we are discovering — including one group of older adult's "recipe" for overcoming loneliness.

View: Isolation & Loneliness Hub

 

Medication Management Tools

medication management toolsPoor medication management is one of the key reasons people are forced to stop living independently. There are a wide range of tools that can help you manage your medications — and avoid, or at least postpone, that fate. We have researched which products work best for different types of people, ranging from simple inexpensive pill boxes and reminders to complex "automated" pill dispensers.

View: Medication Management Hub

 

 

Related Products & Resources in the Tech-enhanced Life Database

Tools for improving the quality of life as we grow older — shared by the Tech-enhanced Life community.

 

Key words: 
Location Devices, Tracker for Dementia Patients, Dementia Tracking Device, GPS Trackers

Last Updated: October 27, 2020.