Dude, Where's My Dad?
It's a growing problem with a growing solution - elderly dementia patients go missing every day - so much so that 18 states have created programs
called Silver Alerts to help find missing elderly people before they fall into harms way.
The Alzheimer's Association warns that more than 60 percent of elderly patients afflicted with dementia will wander and become lost at some point in
One solution many advocates are promoting is the use of personal GPS tracking devices to help locate dementia patients within minutes of the
realization they have gone missing.
"Personal GPS devices that can be tracked via an online dashboard can literally be lifesaving devices," said George Karonis, CEO of LiveViewGPS (
www.liveviewGPS.com) and a former law enforcement officer with 15 years on the street. "Some devices are so small, they can fit on a keychain, in a
pocket or they can even be sewn into clothing if need be. Having been in law enforcement and having dealt with missing persons cases, I can tell you
that the first few hours that an elderly person wanders is the most critical, as many dementia patients suffer from other ailments and are on strict
medication regimens. If they are without their medication for too long, they can collapse, suffer a cardiac arrest or worse. These devices can be
tracked online, meaning you can actually log onto your dashboard online and get an exact position of the GPS holder that is accurate up to the last 20
seconds if they are on foot."
Karonis said that caretakers of elderly dementia patients should look for devices that have feature sets designed to help them track and locate people
â€¢ Online tracking via the Internet
â€¢ Rapid updates, so the location reported is accurate
â€¢ Long battery life, and a motion-activated power button, so the unit is only using the battery for power when it is in motion
â€¢ Portable, capable of fitting in your hand or on a key chain
â€¢ Memory that stores tracking points for future reference
"A portable GPS m