Overcoming Resistance to Carrying a GPS Tracker

Overcoming Resistance to Carrying a GPS Tracker

When using a GPS Tracker for dementia or Alzheimer's, one of the main challenges can be persuading the person to wear or carry it.

There are normally two main reasons for this:

They may not remember to carry it

Our Stray Star GPS Tracker for dementia comes with a lanyard cable for wearing as a pendant, but can also be used as a key-fob, or carried in the optional carry-pouch. Its also been known for customers to sew the device into the lining of jackets or handbags. You might need to get creative in ensuring that the device is somehow carried as part of a routine.

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    The person doesn’t want to be tracked, denying the risks or claiming personal freedom

    This is a more difficult challenge to face, and may need a little discretion, persuasion or even deception to ensure assistance in locating should they become lost when wandering. The person with dementia may not be able to appreciate the risks of wandering, be unaware that they have become lost in past, or even deny the possibility of becoming lost.

    Our GPS Tracker for dementia has many other functions, which could be used to explain its use to the person. For example:

    • as a simple mobile phone, where they only need to press a button to call you, or accept a call from you.
    • as an SOS “Panic” Button should they need to alert someone quickly.
    • as a fall detector, just in case they happen to take a tumble.
    • as a key protector– they could be explained as locators to help find the keys if they go missing - rather than the person.

    There are so many functions that the GPS tracking functionality needn’t even be mentioned. They don’t necessarily need to know that it can be instantly located at any time – because it works discretely. Fortunately, they are also tamper-proof and waterproof. 


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    “Bought the GPS pendant for my father who is in residential care with dementia and prone to “escaping” This device is an excellent product to secret in his shirt pocket. The customer service and aftercare with this company is excellent. I have had a couple of queries & their on line service response is quick and extremely helpful. Many thanks would highly recommend”Susan, 2016

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    Is it unethical to use a GPS Tracker for dementia?

    Some believe its unethical to deceive a dementia sufferer by tracking them discretely, on the grounds that it takes away their personal freedom and privacy. We personally don’t agree with those views – we think its absolutely appropriate to do whatever’s necessary to improve their personal safety. If a person with dementia or Alzheimer's becomes lost for hours in the cold – personal freedom will be far more hampered by the much greater risk of suffering a serious injury or death.

    The reality of caring for someone with dementia makes it clear - simply having the option to locate a person with dementia is a huge relief. The debate is often muddied by the use of tracking employees or suspicious partners – but these contexts for tracking are completely different. GPS Tracking for dementia and Alzheimer's is a life-saving solution to a very real and dangerous problem.

    With regards to bending the truth – you’ll find that this is commonplace in care-home when it comes to managing patients with dementia. Whilst that doesn’t automatically make it ok, it IS just a part of the practical day-to-day care. For example, in one care home, we knew of a patient with dementia who believed they were at “work”. Would it be appropriate for the care staff to continually confuse and alarm the patient by saying “no, this is not your workplace, this is a care home and you live here permanently!” every day? The staff would continually humor the patient by going along with the scenario, asking the patient if he’s having a good day at work, and answering the many work-related questions he might have about when the next meeting was. In our opinion this isn't unethical or deceptive - its a necessary part of the care and management of a person's mental well-being whose reality has become unfortunately detached.

    At the end of the day, this is all about protecting a person from real-world consequences of the unfortunate degenerative effects of dementia. As mentioned, its better to see them located swiftly when necessary, rather than not.

    Our GPS Tracker for Dementia & Alzheimer's

    Learn more about our Stray Star GPS Tracker: packed with features, free pre-installed SIM card and plenty of great information, support and aftercare.