Tracking Your Loved One

By: Chris Sutter Email
By: Chris Sutter Email

It's Wii bowling day at the Edgewood Retirement Center and while everyone is having a good time, a very serious disease could be staring a lot of these 80-year-olds right in the face without them even knowing it.

"In the state of Michigan, we're talking anywhere from 180-200 thousand people with Alzheimer's," Elizabeth Longley of the Alzheimer's Association says.

In fact, the Great Lakes Chapter of the Alzheimer's Association says if you're in your 80s, you have a 50/50 shot of being afflicted with the disease-- the symptoms are barely recognizable at first...

"Sons or daughters will go and see that Mom or Dad hasn't had breakfast or they're forgetting to eat," Diane Kobayashi of Granton Senior Communities says.

But when the disease kicks in, it starts a whole new round of problems.

Wandering is one of the most frightening symptoms of advancing dementia, where older folks who are simply out on a routine walk forget what they're doing and get lost--- it happens to nearly 60% of patients, and the outcome usually isn't good.

"Most people who wander aren't found alive," Longley says.

The answer to preventing such a thing from happening to your loved one may lie in a braclet-like device...

"Anything that you can get to find someone quickly is crucial," Longley explains.

It may look like a toy, but there's actually a GPS inside the bracelet that can track the elderly no matter where they are-- and experts say the device is a must-have for anyone suffering from Alzheimer's.

"We often have family members who say 'oh don't worry about it,' they've never wandered--- at some point in time they probably will," Longley explains.


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Comments are posted from viewers like you and do not always reflect the views of this station.
  • by Anonymous on Apr 21, 2009 at 06:08 AM
    These devices have been around for a while, they have not be put into the mainstream. The real fear of these devices is the stalkers who would use this device for the same reason, but not for loved ones.
  • by Jodi Location: Lansing on Apr 20, 2009 at 09:23 PM
    I'm suprised that this device is new. I figured they allready existed. Had I known they didn't I would've invented it myself. It is a very serious problem, my grandpa did it all the time. This would also be useful for people who sleepwalk, and children who have a tendency to wander.
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