GPS shoes for Alzheimer's patients

Alzheimer's patients are said to be located using GPS shoes

Alzheimer's patients should be detectable at any time in the future with special GPS shoes. The unplanned, sometimes extremely risky excursions of the mentally confused can be avoided from now on, according to the promise of the US manufacturing companies.

Again and again, patients suffering from Alzheimer's spontaneously leave their familiar surroundings unaccompanied and wander around in a confused state. GPS transmitters in the shoes could possibly prevent the sudden disappearance of Alzheimer's patients in the future. This would significantly improve the safety of Alzheimer's patients. Appropriate shoes from an American manufacturer are currently about to be launched on the market.

3,000 pairs of GPS shoes for Alzheimer's patients already deliveredrt
According to the plans of the GPS company GTX Corp and the shoe manufacturer Aetrex Worldwide, the GPS shoes for Alzheimer's patients are to be launched on the American market for the time being and enable the disappearance of Alzheimer's patients who have disappeared at any time. The Global Positioning System (GPS) offers a good opportunity to protect the victims of the neurodegenerative disease from possible risks from unplanned trips, the US manufacturers explained. As of October, the shoes with the satellite location system will be available in the US at a price of around $ 300. As the GTX Corp reported, the first 3,000 pairs of shoes have already been delivered to Aetrex Worldwide.

High-tech shoes are said to increase the safety of Alzheimer's patients According to Andrew Carle from George Mason University (USA), the principle of GPS shoes is relatively simple. With the help of the location system, a kind of virtual fence can be drawn around the apartment of Alzheimer's patients and as soon as the shoes leave the designated area, an alarm is triggered on a cell phone or computer provided for this purpose, explained Carle. The relatives and nursing staff can then immediately locate the missing Alzheimer's patients on a specially set up portal. Andrew Carle advised GTX Corp and Aetrex Worldwide on the development of the GPS shoe. According to the expert, placing the transmitter in the heel of the shoes offers an additional advantage, because Alzheimer's patients do not notice it here. A simple GPS wristband or collar, on the other hand, is not a solution because patients often take off unusual objects, explained Andrew Carle. Because “paranoia is often associated with Alzheimer's.” Patients receive “they remove a wristwatch because it is not theirs,” Carle continues. It is therefore necessary to hide the GPS from Alzheimer's patients.

Health risks in the case of unscheduled trips by Alzheimer's patients According to the experts, unscheduled trips to the public often pose considerable risks for Alzheimer's patients because the mentally disturbed often endanger themselves. Andrew Carle emphasized that the new system not only helps to avoid "embarrassing moments" in the interests of those affected, but could even possibly save lives. According to the US scientist, GPS shoes are primarily "particularly suitable for Alzheimer's patients at an early stage" because they "may still live at home but are already confused" and therefore appear to be particularly at risk. Those affected "just go for a walk - and can be lost for days," explained Carle. This happens to 60 percent of Alzheimer's patients at least once in the course of their illness, the expert continues. For those affected, this involves a health risk that should not be underestimated, since they are not able to provide for themselves independently. Even vital actions such as eating and drinking are forgotten. There is already a risk of dehydration after just one day, with those affected having health consequences such as dizziness, rapid heartbeat, feeling weak, and in the worst case, collapse of the cardiovascular system and fainting.

There is also a significantly higher risk of accidents for Alzheimer's patients, since they are no longer able to correctly assess everyday situations, said Andrew Carle. The new high-tech shoes are intended to remedy this. Given that more than five million people already suffer from Alzheimer's in the United States alone today, and according to Andrew Carle, the number of people affected could quadruple in the next few decades, the US manufacturers hope that sales of GPS shoes will skyrocket. However, they will not change anything about the condition of the affected person and the medical benefit remains questionable, even if the GPS shoes may increase the safety of Alzheimer's patients. It is also unclear why those affected should put their GPS shoes on when they leave their living environment, since they forget the most everyday actions and sometimes only leave the house in their pajamas or even naked. (fp)

Also read:
Walks protect against Alzheimer's
Dementia and Alzheimer's
Dementia: A growing social problem
Dementia: holistic treatment approach
Over-medication of dementia patients

Image: Gerd Altmann /

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Video: GPS shoes aid Alzheimers patients and caretakers

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