It’s estimated that nearly 500,000 Canadians are currently living with dementia.
Studies have shown that if the patient can remain social, and in familiar surroundings, it may help slow the progression of the disease.
And that’s where technology can help.
“My story is very much the same as every other family who’s dealing with dementia.” explains Marjorie Moulton, the founder of We Rage We Weep Alzheimer Foundation.
“My father had it, and so I watched him go through that, when I was at quite a young and impressionable age….”
Moulton’s father lost his battle with Alzheimer’s Disease in 1995.
In 2006, she founded We Rage We Weep, offering support and empathy for others on this heartbreaking journey.
Because a diagnosis can be terrifying, for the patient and their loved ones.
“Their concern is…what happens now?” says Moulton. “How do I maintain my independence? How do I hold on to as much of the life that I know for as long as possible…?”
And those questions are important, notes Moulton “considering that it is a progressive disease.”
Sixty percent of those with dementia will wander at some point during the disease. Moulton’s Foundation looked for a solution.
“We started in 2008 in this field with Project Lifesaver which was a radio frequency device…” she explains.
Now, thanks to new technology, the Foundation has created the Personal Wellbeing Initiative.
“Our purpose with this is really to consult with, and educate, families and groups that are looking to maybe augment what they do for someone through this type of technology.”
GPS trackers are available within waterproof watches, Smart Soles, or a lanyard or belt clip.
“So each point at which the GPS takes a reading gives you a date and time stamp for it…” Moulton illustrates on her laptop.
“Safe parameters can be programmed with a geofence, which alerts family members if the loved one wanders outside their local, familiar surroundings,” she adds “so they can continue to go to the grocery store, the park, the coffee shop, meet their friends…”
The devices start at $225 – plus a monthly fee.
Click here to learn more.