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Technology is making caregiving less stressful: it's like having your own private nurse

Caring for parents with dementia or Alzheimer's Disease isn't easy. GPS and Location Services can help you maintain your peace of mind. Here's how.

The American Alzheimer Association estimates that 14 million Americans and 18.7 million Europeans will be diagnosed with Alzheimer's Disease by 2050. If their prediction is accurate, 74 million people may find themselves caring for parents and family members. These statistics reveal more than just a financial cost. For many, full time caregiving will result in mental, and physical, stress.

But relief is possible. With the rise of locations services and smart technology comes an unanticipated solution. These tools can help you provide better care and improve quality of life, for you and your family members.

Another set of eyes and ears

Caring for a person with dementia or Alzheimer's is a complicated, stressful task as it requires 24hour observation of their health and location.

Disorientation and severe confusion caused by the disease makes even familiar surroundings seem foreign, causing many people to wander off into dangerous situations. A GPS tracker in the form of a wearable device can track your parent(s) whereabouts and help you find them faster. Here's how it works.

A GPS tracker sends precise information about your parent's movement and location to a receiver, even without a telephone or WIFI connection. It can also be programmed with HERE's geofencing capabilities. This means that you will be notified if your family member goes outside of a pre-set area they typically frequent, i.e their neighborhood, a park, shopping center or clinic. If your parent is self-conscious reassure them that no one else will know; wearable GPS devices can be placed on a wrist, around the neck or in a bag.

A GPS device enabled with HERE's Tracking technology is perfect if your parent wants to remain living alone and you need to maintain a full time job or other responsibilities. Your parent(s) will appreciate the autonomy and you'll sleep a little sounder; you're only one notification away.

Like having your own private nurse

Alzheimer's Disease and dementia cause more than just confusion. Seniors suffering from the disease can also experience muscle weakness, memory loss, mood swings and aggressive behavior. Consistent nutrition and medication are necessary to moderate these symptoms. Tools such as real-time door surveillance or a fall detection device can help monitor your parents' health while increasing your sense of security.

Smart doorbell surveillance

A smart doorbell service is a doorbell equipped with cameras. It replaces an existing wired doorbell and delivers high quality HD video, even at night. It also features 24/7 streaming connected to your smartphone so you can check in anytime. But, how does a smart doorbell service monitor health? You can review up to three-hours of recorded history meaning you won't wonder if home-care arrived with meals or medication. (Or if your family member let them into the house.) And, you'll be able to observe your loved one's condition as they leave and return home.

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Many smart doorbells feature customizable range detection which can monitor small or large spaces with clarity.

Fall detection sensors

According to the National Council for Aging Care, 1 in 4 elderly Americans suffer a fall each year. The combination of Alzheimer-related muscle weakness, visual-spatial problems, gait changes and an aging body increases the likelihood of falling. A fall detection device can relieve your anxiety about not being able to respond fast enough or in person. This is how it works:

  • Automatic fall detection devices measure movement in all directions

  • Accelerometers and sensors detect differences between normal activity and sudden changes in speed and gravitational force

  • Upon detection of a fall, the device sends out an automatic alarm; advantageous in the case of a loss of consciousness

  • Fall detectors come in waterproof, wearable forms like a pendant or bracelet

  • Devices can be equipped with additional GPS tracking functionality to pinpoint the exact location of the fall

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Fall detection sensors are subtle and can be worn or carried.

Even though caring for those with dementia or Alzheimer's Disease will never be simple, GPS and location services technology can help you provide a safer, more independent environment while decreasing your stress level. Choosing new devices for the first time might seem overwhelming, but luckily there are many guides that offer useful information and caregiver support.

See more on HERE's solutions for tracking and positioning.

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