Bay Area Expert Weighs In On GPS Shoes For Alzheimer’s Patients

SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) — Sixty percent of Alzheimer’s patients will wander away from home at some point over the course of the disease. Finding them quickly is critical as the risk of death or injury goes up considerably after 24 hours.

But now there’s a new device among a growing number of products designed to keep track of our wandering loved ones.

Sometimes people go looking for family members that have gotten lost going to the grocery store. In other cases the person with Alzheimer’s forgets they are retired and they try to go to work. But when they leave the house, they become disoriented.

KCBS’ Rebecca Corral Reports:

Ruth Gay, director of public policy and advocacy with the Alzheimer’s Association in Northern California and Nevada said wandering can have terrible consequences.

“Wandering in fact is 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.

GTX Corporation and Aetrex Worldwide are two companies that are now collaborating to release a shoe on Monday, embedded with GPS to track its wearer’s whereabouts. It sort of resembles the walking shoes often worn by the elderly.

“For years we’ve looked for things like this that would help is find somebody quickly when they get lost,” Gay said.

The shoes join a growing list of GPS embedded products including; wristwatches, bracelets, and other products that help wandering people with dementia.

(Copyright 2011 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

More from Rebecca Corral
Comments

One Comment

  1. Ed says:

    Hay Melvin get bent

    1. Viviane says:

      OMG – you are just too funny. “I felt like I was at an open-mic in the country-side, where moonshine was on-tap and audience members had udders”… hehehehe

  2. Erin says:

    Where can one find GPS embedded products?

  3. Nancy says:

    I’d also like to learn where I can obtain GPS embedded products.

  4. porchhound says:

    What if they forget and put them on backwards?……heh

  5. porchhound says:

    I think Erin and Nancy are trying to keep one another honest!

  6. D'Terian Theodorius Jackson IV says:

    you prjudlilst

  7. George says:

    Melvin, I understand your attempt at humor. Clearly, you’ve never had to care for someone afflicted. So, I cordially invite you to FOAD.

  8. Dan Stone says:

    Great concept. It is great to see technology being leveraged to address a mainstream problems. Keeping seniors safe at home is our focus http://assuredindependence.com

  9. rfsynthesizer says:

    Unfortunately GPS is unreliable, you’re better off with a tracking system like the Lojack SafetyNet used on the east coast.

    https://safetynetbylojack.com/

  10. Gwen Eubank says:

    Now if the company would just use AquilaVision’s OTTER then the caregivers or family of the person with Alzheimer’s would know immediately via a phone call where to find their loved one!

  11. C. Paul Gallagher says:

    Yep. /LOL

  12. Ellie says:

    George- My father, who passed from this disease, made this same crack at the onset. There were times when remebering his sense of humor made us able to smile throught the pain of losing him. I believe Melvin’s joke brings levity and a sense commonality to an otherwise terrible situation. FOAD seems worse by my estimation.

  13. jpac says:

    except my husband doesn’t have alzheimers…he’s just geographically-challenged and gets lost in a parking lot!!

  14. Suburban Dad says:

    They should make this product in tennis shoes for children and teenagers as well…it would be a godsend for any parent who’s ever had a child go missing….

  15. adolphe gitler says:

    Soon to be required for all Americans everywhere — probably by Ob*ma’s Third Term.

    1. Matt says:

      What a terrible person you are. This is a serious problem and a nightmare for people whose loved ones have this problem. This novel solution will provide re-assurance to millions of families already being forced to watch people they once admired and were cared for by, slowly fade away. Not to mention millions in law enforcement funds spent looking for seniors who wander off.

      People like you shouldn’t even be allowed to vote if you are so partisan that even something like this makes you talk about government intrusion, when it has nothing to do with that. You make me sick.

  16. Julie B says:

    My uncle wore a GPS watch before he passed away. Shoe can be taken off more easily than the watch he wore.

    1. sandrawade says:

      reply to Julie: if you leave your residence, you usually walk out in shoes. Watches, wristbands, etc are more easily taken off than shoes!!!

      1. Slavin4u.com says:

        my father would throw his shoes in the toilet and walk around w/o it.

  17. Seriously says:

    The libs could have these attached to all the Tea Party folks!!

  18. Lex says:

    First the dogs next the inmates the alzheimer and other patients then non violent offenders then everybody, but no that could not happen it’s not 1984 it’s the 21st century already, right.

    1. Matt says:

      Then we can eliminate the phone company, cus they could spy on your calls. Then get rid of medical records, don’t want any snooping. And oh no, the internet, the gps in your car, school records, traffic tickets, birth certificates.

      Oh wait that’s right we need those things to live in a society. Go live in the woods with the uni-bomber you psycho.

  19. Real Rick says:

    Lived in a county once where an ALS patient left a nursing home, at the same time as a bad snow storm. We had hundreds of volunteers out searching for him. Didn’t find him until a spring thaw. He had slid under an ice pack on a nearby creek. Sad we didn’t have a way to find him faster.

  20. Joe Lucido says:

    The Alzheimer’s Research Association supports the research and innovation that goes into the different GPS products the help in the search of an wandering Alzheimer’s patient. It is a very real problem, when a patient becomes disoriented, it is a scary feeling when you don’t know where you are and how to get back home. These products help the Caregivers with one of the most important worries about their loved ones. The more products that come to market the better. For more information go to. http://www.alzra.org

  21. SLIDINGINTOIT says:

    .FRIGGIN IDIOTS”__THEY INTEND TO PUT THESE IN ALL SHOES, BY LAW.

    WAKE UP.

    THEY ARE SETTING UP CHECKPOINTS INSIDE AMERICA, NAZIAMERICA.

    THEY ARE BUILDING A FENCE AROUND THE BORDER, AND ITS OBVIOUSLY NOT TO KEEP OUT FOREIGNERS, HELL, THERE ARE MORE BY THE DAY, and THEY SHIPPED THE MANUFACTURING BASE [THATS JOBS FOR YOU PUBLIC SCHOOL ALUMNI. AND THEREFORE TAX BASE]….SENT THEM TO COMMUNIST CHINA.

    COMMUNIST .

    COMMUNIST. THEY SENT AMERICAS JOBS TO A COMMUNIST NATION.

    WAKE UP, WHATEVER EXCUSES THEY USE, OR YOU USE…THEY ARE INTENT ON DESTROYING AMERICA…[And you DOLTED MUSHBRAINS STAND THERE WITH DROOL , SAYING “sounds good” “baaaaaaaa, ” baaaaaaaaaaaaa”]

    ___________BUILDING 7__________ GET A CLUE.
    “HERES YOUR SIGN” …”LOOK IT UP”….”GET INFORMED YA DOLT.
    USE THE SEARCH BAR.RESEARCH. START WITH BUILDING 7.

    & KURT HASKELL INTERVIEWS.

    THEY ARE LOCKING YOU DOWN….IN NAZIAMERICA, and then, well….they are doing what NAZIS DO. …[and you dolted public school kids, ya better find out what that was, a very short time ago.]

    1. Brad says:

      okay okay, I am in the camp of government has issues and they are taking privacy and freedom away from us, but this is not that. My grandmother had the disease and ran away as often as possible, they would have come in handy a couple of times. Plus a normal person can just take there shoes off. So i am a no check point no tsa kink of guy too, but it’s good to be able to find grandma.

  22. Michael says:

    GPS doesn’t work for this application very well. First what happens when Grandpa gets up in the middle of the night and goes out the front door, he is never going to remember to put on his shoes, he’s got AD. Second the GPS unit needs to be recharged every few days. The fire department can’t get people to change their smoke alarm battery once a year let alone recharge something multiple times a week. Third GPS doesn’t track in buildings, on cloudy days and in dense forest conditions. Fourth Grandma will be “mugged” by the technology. Fifth the cost will be $30-60 a month, out of the ballpark for seniors on fixed incomes trying to decide between food and medicine. Again another pie in the sky report without checking facts.

  23. Morgan says:

    Pie in the sky? First, yes if your grandpa forgets to put on the shoes, this will not help him. But what if sundown begins to kick in, and he has his shoes on. It is worth the chance that he doesn’t wake up in the middle of the night and take off. You obviously have never had to take care of someone with AD. Second, taking care of someone kind of becomes your job at times, so changing the batteries is no problem. it is not the job of the alzheimers patient to change the batteries, it is yours (the caretaker). You don’t change your batteries in the fire alarm every week because you don’t have to. Here, it simply becomes one of your weekly rituals that you do when taking care of your loved one. Third, as to the bad weather blocking the signal, that would be a legitimate argument if it were so cloudy every day that the signal was blocked. Weird though, as I used my GPS in a thunderstorm the other week – no problem. Get up to date with today’s technology (investigate your facts before reporting) Fourth, “mugged” by the technology? It isn’t a mugging if you offer to pay for a product/service. You need to look up definitions of the words you use as well. Fifth, I will pay $100 a month if that is what it takes. Do you even know how much money is spent on taking care of alzheimers patients? Obvioiusly not. $1200/year is nothing. While yes I agree that for some patients it will be too expensive, but what about the thousands who can afford it? Don’t write them off just because some people won’t be able to pay for them. There are plenty who can. Maybe you should check some facts before reporting.

  24. Craig Brockman says:

    20-years ago, as a police officer, we would have “Missings” of the elderly, and mentally challenged. I jokingly stated that we shuld put a Lo-Jack” on these people in need, to help us find them, of course tjhis was before GPS was a common thing. I guess I was one-upped.

  25. Craig Brockman says:

    should^

    1. Elisangela says:

      Most folks say they cnanot find jobs, but the truth is that they cnanot find jobs in the profession that they desire, or they do not want jobs that pay below a certain range, or they do not want menial jobs.If one is really wishing to find work, there is work out there. Sure it may be messy, hard labor, and pay lousy, but it is work.When I was unemployed, to make ends meet, I went door-to-door delivering flyers for a total of $ 7.00 an hour. I also cleaned up at elementary schools for slightly more than that hourly rate.( I have several graduate degrees and 20+ years of senior management experience )So, shake off prejudices and bias, and go get a job – things should improve soon, I believe we are slowly coming out of the recession of the past several years. Have an optimistic attitude and look forward to better times, better jobs.

  26. Yukiko says:

    What happens when the Alzheimer’s patient’s forget to put their shoes on? This is a serious problem. Sometimes when these folks wander off they are various stages of undress and even naked.

    1. Dan Stone says:

      Indeed it is a common and serious problem. We have found that a comprehensive approach to care is best. Using a balance of home care services and various technologies to monitor fall detection, wandering and activities of daily living in the home creates a safer situation for our elders. This is a great solution for one aspect of seniors that are a wonder risk. The key is taking a balanced approach to address all aspects of helping our elders live at home safely.
      Regards, Dan Stone / http://www.assuredindependence.com

  27. derek says:

    What’s wrong with letting them have a microchip inplanted in them as long as there is an approval among guardians and the patient? They definitely wont lose that. We do it all the time with our pets.

  28. http://www.shoesupreme.com says:

    Wouldn’t a non removable bracelet accomplish the same thing without some kind of surgery.

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