We've seen a few overseas GPS-enabled products designed to help keep track of people at risk of wandering off due to memory impairment issues from dementia, Alzheimer's or autism — but now we've found one readily available in Australia.
Lifetracker is a waterproof GPS GSM device that can be strapped to the at-risk person's ankle or waist. It enables authorised carers or family members to locate the wearer via an SMS alert that will quickly provide their location to within metres.
If the wearer becomes disoriented, they can push its SOS button. That sends an SMS alert to the carer, who can then communicate directly to the wearer through its built-in microphone to calm them down and ascertain whether they need an ambulance sent to the location.
The most useful feature could be its Boundary Alert capability, which also sends the carer an alert message when the Lifetracker wearer crosses a pre-set boundary. The boundaries can be easily set up via SMS, so carers can change them quickly when going on outings with the Lifetracker wearer. Similarly, the boundary could be constricted if the person is prone to go wandering unexpectedly during the night, but expanded for daytime use, so that the wearer can have the freedom to maintain their normal routine of shopping, walking etc.
Lifetracker can be purchased online here.