View Full Version : GPS tracking of at-risk individuals
2011-Jul-30, 11:05 PM
My father recently had a confusion/mind-blanking moment and regained coherent thought about a block away from home but about 30 minutes later. He does NOT have Alzheimers (he is 80).
I was wondering if there was a tracking system (not too expensive) that uses GPS so that my mother can locate my father if such an incident should happen again.
2011-Jul-31, 07:40 AM
Google GPS tracking and you'll find a plethora of relatively cheap solutions.
As you say not Alzheimer I'm assuming he's aware of what happened and wants that tracking too.
If not, it's going to be harder as there's likely legality problems as well as the possibility of him dumping the tracker to consider.
2011-Jul-31, 11:01 AM
I don't know about cost, the ones we have are paid for by tax dollars, :) but range may be an issue if he drives or gets on a bus.
Your father should grant a Power of Attorney in favour of your mother, or you or a sibling. An event like this may have happened before but if he didn't leave the house he may not have realised.
2011-Jul-31, 12:41 PM
This may be more designed for teenagers, but some cell-phone providers (I've seen it for at least AT&T) offer web-based GPS tracking of smart phones if paid on the same account (and enabled once by the phone in question).
2011-Jul-31, 12:51 PM
Yes, there are GPS trackers out there. There are four approaches I can think of, GPS tracking devices that are simply small boxes that can be attached to the object you wish to track, Tracking apps that can be installed on smart phones with or without the phone owner being aware of it, child's/elderly's mobile phones with built in tracking functionality and a phone company may offer mobile phone services intended for children where the parent can track the phone.
Generally all these solutions communicate through the normal mobile phone network by using the messaging service, basically this means that you send a request message to the tracking device, and it replies with the current position, or that the tracking device will periodically transmit its position to a mapping server.
2011-Jul-31, 01:02 PM
If not, it's going to be harder as there's likely legality problems as well as the possibility of him dumping the tracker to consider.Are you saying that there are legal problems with trying to track someone with Alzheimers? or just that permission has not been given, and you might have to go through the legal hoops of forcing the issue?
2011-Jul-31, 01:19 PM
I'm saying that without Alzheimer (or other types of dementia) there's likely a better chance of obtaining his consent because he's aware of, and accepts, the problem and that there may be legal problems without this consent.
On the other hand, with some types of dementia there may be ways of getting around requiring consent, but then there's the increased likelihood of him dumping the tracker if the dementia has the paranoia complication which, as I understand it, is a very common extra bonus.
2011-Jul-31, 02:18 PM
You may wish to look into GPS tracking apps for cell phones. It may be costly if you need to upgrade phones or plans, but there is a considerable advantage to having two-way communication with the tracker and the tracked.
I have never looked into such plans and phones, so I don't have a ready suggestion. I wish I such an option for my kids, but they only range over a few hundred feet collectively. They don't have the skills, motivation and capabilities of an adult.
2011-Aug-01, 02:30 AM
My parents live in a VERY small town so the greatest concern is not getting lost but rather if more serious problems develop while he is in his fugue state. I'm not sure that there is any technology that would have prevented any problems in his latest episode.
Watching your parents get old and decrepit is not a nice thing.
2011-Aug-01, 03:05 AM
There was a story (http://m.ctv.ca/topstories/20110730/transmitter-bracelet-helped-find-girl.html) in the Canadian news recently about tracking at-risk individuals (in this case, a young autistic girl).
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