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GPS Shoes For Alzheimer's Patients 116

Posted by samzenpus
from the grandma-catching dept.
A shoe-maker, Aetrex Worldwide, and GTX Corp, a company that makes miniaturized Global Positioning Satellite tracking and location-transmitting devices, are teaming up to make shoes for people suffering from Alzheimer's Disease. "The technology will provide the location of the individual wearing the shoes within 9m (30 feet), anywhere on the planet. Sixty per cent of individuals afflicted with Alzheimer's Disease will be involved in a 'critical wandering incident' at least once during the progression of the disease — many more than once," said Andrew Carle, an assistant professor at George Mason University who served as an advisor on the project. Not only will this technology allow a caretaker to find a loved one with a click of a mouse, but the shoes are more humanizing than a bell hung around the neck.

*

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GPS Shoes For Alzheimer's Patients

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  • Oh (Score:5, Funny)

    by JustOK (667959) on Tuesday June 09, 2009 @03:12PM (#28269969) Journal

    Like they'll remember to put on their shoes...

    • Re:Oh (Score:4, Informative)

      by tekiegreg (674773) * <tekieg1-slashdot@yahoo.com> on Tuesday June 09, 2009 @03:13PM (#28269985) Homepage Journal
      Exactly, my grandma who was Alzheimer's was notorious for doing just that walking around the assisted living facility in nothing but her underwear, tough deal Alzheimer's is...
      • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

        by Hognoxious (631665)

        my grandma who was Alzheimer's was notorious for doing just that walking around the assisted living facility in nothing but her underwear

        It could be worse. I know, I've seen her without it.

      • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

        by Anonymous Coward

        pics or it didn't happen.

        • by iluvcapra (782887)
          Dignity FAIL.
          • by spun (1352)

            You seem to be looking for dignity in the wrong place. This is the Internet. We don't do dignity.

            • Re: (Score:1, Funny)

              by Anonymous Coward

              You seem to be looking for dignity in the wrong place. This is the Internet. We don't do dignity.

              Indeed. Furthermore, I hereby invoke Rule 34. Any moment now, an AC is going to post some fresh and delicious Alzheimer's granny poon... And there's not a goddamn thing anyone can do about it.

              • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

                by demonlapin (527802)
                I'm not AC, and it's text only, but here's [bash.org] a riff on Rule 34 for that - scroll down to ONE HUNDRED TWENTY TWO for the Rule 34 bit, or read the whole thing to LYFAO.
      • Exactly, my grandma who was Alzheimer's was notorious for doing just that walking around the assisted living facility in nothing but her underwear, tough deal Alzheimer's is...
        ---
        ...in bed

        I thought the problem was when she was walking around.

    • Re:Oh (Score:5, Interesting)

      by timholman (71886) on Tuesday June 09, 2009 @03:29PM (#28270265)

      Like they'll remember to put on their shoes...

      Interesting that you should say that. My father-in-law suffered from dementia before he died, and he was paranoid that someone was going to take his shoes from him. He was constantly looking for them if he wasn't wearing them. The strange thing is that his father also suffered from dementia, and had the same obsession about shoes before his death.

      So I think the folks at GTX Corporation are on to something. Even if people with dementia wander off, most of them are probably going to remember to put their shoes on first.

      • by tekiegreg (674773) *
        I dunno, dementia from what I've seen is a more complex disease of the brain. Referene where I talked about my grandma above. She'd be just as likely to put her shoes on as she'd be likely to put her shoes in the refrigerator (I remember her doing that once)....
      • I am guessing he was institutionalized. In there, that is exactly what they do... take your shoes. The floor is always cold. If you somehow manage to keep your shoes, you need to guard them with your life, because once they know you have them, they will come and take them away.
      • So I think the folks at GTX Corporation are on to something. Even if people with dementia wander off, most of them are probably going to remember to put their shoes on first.

        If they are paranoid, won't they notice that their shoes have suddenly started blinking and beeping and that they have grown antennas?

      • by elvesrus (71218)

        The fun part is 2 dementia patients having a conversation. Every couple minutes someone comes back with a "Hi, how are you today". Sometimes said activity can go on for hours.

        In my defense, my grandmother had dementia, and I had witnessed this first hand.

    • by EkriirkE (1075937)
      this should be modded insightful. Stray alz patients often forgo necessary gear when trekking
    • Perhaps a chip could be installed in the patient instead, as they aren't likely to leave without themselves unless they are really out of it.
    • by syousef (465911)

      ...and if they remember to put them on they'll be mugged for their expensive GPS shoes. "Quick, roll grandpa! He's wearing a Garmin"

  • in Nakatomi Plaza. If you're inside when it's taken over by terrorists, make sure you take off your shoes so they can't track you.
  • critical (Score:5, Funny)

    by nimbius (983462) on Tuesday June 09, 2009 @03:20PM (#28270099) Homepage
    wandering incident?! who was the marketing genius that made it sound like a particle physics event??
    • Re:critical (Score:5, Insightful)

      by MaXintosh (159753) on Tuesday June 09, 2009 @03:26PM (#28270207)
      Critical means "Having the Potential to become Disastrous." And when Alzheimer's patients wander, it has just that potential. People who suffer from the condition can become easily lost, confused, and aren't likely to seek out help. In some cases, they can be belligerent, and combative toward people who do want to help. This puts them in direct danger. A humane way of tracking them in the event of these incidents helps empower people, and might allow people to keep lovedones with the condition at home, as opposed to in assisted care where oversight is tighter and they're less liable to wander off and get in this danger. "Critical Wandering Incident" is a good way to describe it, in my opinion.
      • Re:critical (Score:5, Interesting)

        by dr_wheel (671305) on Tuesday June 09, 2009 @04:54PM (#28271451)

        Well I happen to agree with the OP. George Carlin said it best with his rant on 'shell shock':

        "I don't like words that hide the truth. I don't words that conceal reality. I don't like euphemisms, or euphemistic language. And American English is loaded with euphemisms. Cause Americans have a lot of trouble dealing with reality. Americans have trouble facing the truth, so they invent the kind of a soft language to protest themselves from it, and it gets worse with every generation. For some reason, it just keeps getting worse. I'll give you an example of that. There's a condition in combat. Most people know about it. It's when a fighting person's nervous system has been stressed to it's absolute peak and maximum. Can't take anymore input. The nervous system has either (click) snapped or is about to snap. In the first world war, that condition was called shell shock. Simple, honest, direct language. Two syllables, shell shock. Almost sounds like the guns themselves. That was seventy years ago. Then a whole generation went by and the second world war came along and very same combat condition was called battle fatigue. Four syllables now. Takes a little longer to say. Doesn't seem to hurt as much. Fatigue is a nicer word than shock. Shell shock! Battle fatigue. Then we had the war in Korea, 1950. Madison avenue was riding high by that time, and the very same combat condition was called operational exhaustion. Hey, were up to eight syllables now! And the humanity has been squeezed completely out of the phrase. It's totally sterile now. Operational exhaustion. Sounds like something that might happen to your car. Then of course, came the war in Vietnam, which has only been over for about sixteen or seventeen years, and thanks to the lies and deceits surrounding that war, I guess it's no surprise that the very same condition was called post-traumatic stress disorder. Still eight syllables, but we've added a hyphen! And the pain is completely buried under jargon. Post-traumatic stress disorder. I'll bet you if we'd of still been calling it shell shock, some of those Vietnam veterans might have gotten the attention they needed at the time. I'll betcha."

        • by MaXintosh (159753)
          I don't know, "wandered off" doesn't really sound so bad... Almost peacefull, eh? If you have a better phrase to communicate how bad a situation, I'd be interested, but otherwise, point taken.
        • I agree with the gist of the parent post. However, does 'shell shock' really apply well to broader definitions (say... rape victims)? PTSD is dehumanizing, I agree, but it's accurate.

          Being able to communicate concisely is important too. Saying the equivalent of "oogah boogah" doesn't translate well when everyone else is saying "boo".

          If you want a word that fits the description better, make it up! English is a flexible language, it's not set in stone.

        • And back in world war one! They called it "The thousand-yard stare"! Five syllables and a hyphen!

          Cherrypicking, much?

        • Now they don't even bother to use words anymore PTSD is the notion. As funny of a guy as Carlin was, I think he makes a very good point here. PTSD sounds so generic and fluffy, it could mean anything.
    • Re: (Score:2, Troll)

      by interkin3tic (1469267)

      wandering incident?! who was the marketing genius that made it sound like a particle physics event??

      I don't think anyone is marketing "wandering incidents." Also, seeing as alzheimers predates particle physics, and is probably more commonly discussed than particle physics, I'd have to ask instead what idiot physicist made a particle physics event sound like an alzheimers patient wandering off.

      (If you were going for humor, you appear to have had your own wandering incident)

  • Other Uses (Score:3, Interesting)

    by schrodingers_rabbit (1565471) <only.online.spam@gmail.com> on Tuesday June 09, 2009 @03:20PM (#28270101) Journal
    It would be helpful for the patient to be able to use the shoe GPS themselves. My relatives with Alzheimers often forget where they are or where they are going, or how to get there. A small screen similar to car GPS systems could use the shoe to help the patients find their way around. On a different note, where can I get one of these for my sister?
    • I think a little pod with a touchscreen, bearing buttons for "Store", "Home", "Visiting Susie", etc. which would stay highlighted when one pressed them (and show when you pressed them), just-press-them-again-to-deactivate would work. Heck, it could be an iPhone app...

      • by clampolo (1159617)
        No problems about wandering with your ideas. With the hundreds of pounds of gear you want attached to their shoes, they won't be able to move their feet and will be trapped.
    • You could set it up to activate when they click their heels 3 times.
  • Oh Good! (Score:3, Funny)

    by Alzheimers (467217) on Tuesday June 09, 2009 @03:20PM (#28270103)

    I was wondering if I'd watered the plants or not.

  • And I don't know where I am...

  • This technology will go much farther than intended...

    Parents who want to track "problem" children
    Husband/Wife who wants to know where you really were last night
    And for the random person who really wants to know how lost he got himself...

    This technology won't become ubiquitous, but it'll certainly be fun to abuse.

    • No shit (Score:1, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Just week or two ago there was a story on slashdot about some parent whose son had taken the wrong bus home from school and got lost so he asked slashdot ways to track his child with GPS...

      So I belive that what you described will happen very soon.

      • Just week or two ago there was a story on slashdot about some parent whose son had taken the wrong bus home from school and got lost so he asked slashdot ways to track his child with GPS...

        So I belive that what you described will happen very soon.

        Makes less sense for kids, though. They grow out of clothing FAST. I'm not arguing that the erosion of personal privacy's not going to accelerate, but I don't think it'll take the form of something wearable. Sewable into clothing, maybe, but not as clothing.

        IMHO, it'll be more likely built into (either directly or as a 3rd party addon) the cell phone/mp3 player/portable game unit the kid already lugs around. Anyone too young for that, it'll still be something installable onto something else.

      • by Incadenza (560402)
        GPS is already used for tracking birds. I just read they use a 14 grams GPS receiver + radio transmitter + solar cell combination [volkskrant.nl] that lasts over a year. If you can attach it to a bird, there will be ample space to attach it to a kid.
  • Of course they could always take their shoes off. Wouldn't it be much better to prevent them from wandering off in the first place? I know of a great piece of technology that quite effectively keeps them where they can be found. It's called a "leash", and it works pretty well -- at least on my dog! Alzheimer's patients would even be much easier than my dog to train not to wrap it around posts, too!
  • by panthroman (1415081) on Tuesday June 09, 2009 @03:25PM (#28270187) Homepage

    GPS shoes could track... anyone wearing the shoes. Wandering children [slashdot.org], suspicious spouses, prisoners, whomever you want.

    Am I missing something, or is this story less "new tech" and more "we finally found a relatively non-controversial market." Congrats for the shareholders, but hardly newsworthy.

  • by oldspewey (1303305) on Tuesday June 09, 2009 @03:27PM (#28270231)
    Personally I find this [telegraph.co.uk] solution to be ingenious and hilarious at the same time.
    • Which was a plot element in the animated movie Harvie Krumpet [harviekrumpet.com] from 2003.
    • by wowbagger (69688)

      Another technique I've heard of is painting a big black rectangle in front of the exit doors - like a big pit.

      The patients will not cross it, but everybody else will walk right over it.

      I've had the misfortune of watching a loved one descend through the hell that is Alzheimer's, and watched what that did to rest of the family. To the various humor-impaired slashbots: it's about as funny as having your testicles sucked out of your scrotum with a shopvac - that is, hilarious in the abstract, until you have to

  • How about this: We modify Grandma's shoes with a Sharpie to say "My home number is 555-1234" (or whatever for the nursing home). I have a hard time believing that the marker idea isn't better than a shoe that will likely cost hundreds to thousands of dollars ( old people often need custom orthopedics)and a cellular/GPRS/SMS/whatever subscritpion to report the information. Both solutions assume that the altzheimer's patient will remember to put their shoes on before they go walking...
    • by tekiegreg (674773) *
      Really, the simple solution would be to tattoo somewhere visibly "if you see me out of my home, I'm lost, call 555-555-1234 please." Could be a problem if a more sane relative is taking her out someplace though "But officer this is my Grandma!"
    • by DerekLyons (302214) <fairwater AT gmail DOT com> on Tuesday June 09, 2009 @03:53PM (#28270623) Homepage

      We modify Grandma's shoes with a Sharpie to say "My home number is 555-1234" (or whatever for the nursing home).

      Not much help for people searching for her is that? Nor is it much help for those who find her since the shoe is an extremely unlikely place to look for a phone number or other form of ID.
       
       

      I have a hard time believing that the marker idea isn't better than a shoe that will likely cost hundreds to thousands of dollars ( old people often need custom orthopedics)and a cellular/GPRS/SMS/whatever subscritpion to report the information.

      If they already need orthopedic shoes, then adding a GPS to them won't increase the cost much.
       
       

      Both solutions assume that the altzheimer's patient will remember to put their shoes on before they go walking...

      Ambulatory patients are generally dressed and undressed by the caregiver. The patient has no need to remember to put the shoes on. (At night, when the shoes aren't being worn, a wanderer in night clothes is far more likely to be noticed by security while leaving, or wandering down the street.)

      • I have a hard time believing that the marker idea isn't better than a shoe that will likely cost hundreds to thousands of dollars ( old people often need custom orthopedics)and a cellular/GPRS/SMS/whatever subscritpion to report the information.

        If they already need orthopedic shoes, then adding a GPS to them won't increase the cost much.

        Why? Is there some kind of GPS coupon program for orthopedic shoe wearers that I'm unaware of?

  • I call bullshit (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Locke2005 (849178) on Tuesday June 09, 2009 @03:29PM (#28270263)
    The technology will provide the location of the individual wearing the shoes within 9m (30 feet), anywhere on the planet.

    Just as long as they are not in a tunnel, inside a large building, in a canyon, or have any other obstacles around them that block signal from the GPS or block the signal that this device transmits, of course! Why do marketers continue to insist that GPS is some kind of magic technology that works everywhere, and ignore the limitations of technology? This probably won't even work inside some of the nursing homes where Alzheimer's patients normally reside!
    • Re:I call bullshit (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday June 09, 2009 @03:37PM (#28270393)

      If they are inside a building, or elsewhere that the GPS signal is disrupted, then they probably will be easy to find. You know they haven't left.

      If they walk out of their facility/home/etc, then the system probably will have a last known position of sorts. That way, you can at least have a pretty good idea what building they went into and then begin your search there.

      Having a last known location is a lot better than having no clue at all, I would think.

    • The technology will provide the location of the individual wearing the shoes within 9m (30 feet), anywhere on the planet. Just as long as they are not in a tunnel, inside a large building, in a canyon, or have any other obstacles around them that block signal from the GPS or block the signal that this device transmits, of course! Why do marketers continue to insist that GPS is some kind of magic technology that works everywhere, and ignore the limitations of technology? This probably won't even work inside some of the nursing homes where Alzheimer's patients normally reside!

      Plus they might wander off in their slippers, barefoot, in someone else's shoes etc... My grandmother (who had Alzeheimer's) regularly went for long walks in her slippers, nightie and robe. Luckily she had lived in a small village for almost 50 years - and everyone who found her knew who she was. Giving her GPS shoes would have been a waste of money and time.

    • Working as intended (Score:3, Informative)

      by kindbud (90044)

      This probably won't even work inside some of the nursing homes where Alzheimer's patients normally reside!

      This is for patients who wander off due to their diminished mental capacity. If they are inside the nursing home, they haven't wandered off and tracking isn't needed.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by avandesande (143899)

      Who said this was infallible?
      Anyone with a little commence sense realizes the shoes would be helpful in many cases, like during a trip to the zoo or to visit their family.

      It also makes is more reasonable for a family to care for their relative than to send them to a nursing home.

    • I have to say that the recent generation GPS I have
      are much better at getting a lock.
      Newer units(IPAQ 312/Leadtek BT) can get a signal in my flat (Apartment for the USAians) where my Garmin 72 and others would not. They seem to get lock a lot faster too.

      I use them quite a bit to drive PDA flight software
      for sailplanes. Using the excellent open source program XCSoar, is better than most commercial offerings!

    • by MDMurphy (208495)

      Yeah, they always gloss over any difficult aspects:

      * How do you get them to always wear the GPS shoes when leaving?
      * How do you get them to keep the batteries charged?
      * How do you get them to not step in puddles?
      * GPS may work anywhere on the planet, but most communication links for sending the location information back has a much smaller usable footprint. A sat phone might work more places, but it's going to need a bigger battery and be more finicky.
      * If it was a mobile phone / GPS combination it wouldn't

      • by Bartab (233395)

        * How do you get them to always wear the GPS shoes when leaving?

        It depends on how far they regress, but many alzheimer's patients will dress themselves when having an "episode". Perhaps believing they are going to work, school, or shopping, etc. Each patient is different though, and some might just wander off in their house slippers that they're wearing at the home. Obviously, this solution won't work for them. It will for some.

    • Why do people who understand the limitations of GPS always seem to think those limitations preclude GPS as being a solution to anything?
      • by Locke2005 (849178)
        People have kept infants and elders out of trouble for thousands of years through a process called "keeping on eye on them". This new technology is a partial solution at best, and still no substitute for the old-fashioned approach. We only point out the limitations of these new-fangled solutions so that people don't develop a false sense of security, and stop simply paying attention, which is also a required part of the solution.
  • ...but the satellites that make up GPS are pretty outdated and falling apart. Unless someone forks over the money for new satellites we can say goodbye to GPS in a year or two.
    • by rob1980 (941751)
      Aren't the government and military getting some pretty hefty use out of it too? I have a feeling we'll all be forking over the money for upkeep by way of tax dollars if faced with the prospect of not having it anymore.
      • by tekiegreg (674773) *

        Yeah at this point GPS is so widely used nobody is letting it just go away I'm sure.

        Even assuming the government just upgraded to something better and decided to abandon GPS, I'm sure the private industry likely consisting of a consortium of GPS device makers (TomTom, Magellan, Garmin, etc.) would try to step in and launch replacement satellites.

    • Re: (Score:1, Insightful)

      by L3370 (1421413)
      I believe there are more than enough interested parties to keep our GPS satellites up and running. Goverments of numerous countries make use of this ttechnology. Many commercial organizations profit from this technology as well. As long as there is someone that is able to make money off of this I'm sure funding will be available as well... Where did you get this statistic of GPS failing in less than 2 years?
    • http://www.guardian.co.uk/technology/2009/may/19/gps-close-to-breakdown [guardian.co.uk]

      The system is too valuable to let fail, but with the current state of government spending I'm not sure this has gotten much attention.
    • ...but the satellites that make up GPS are pretty outdated and falling apart. Unless someone forks over the money for new satellites we can say goodbye to GPS in a year or two.

      That's overstating the case.

      Some of the satellites are getting old and may break down before replacements are installed. Maybe. If they do the resolution of the system may intermittently drop or the system may intermittently fail in some areas when too few working satellites are currently in view. But it will be a "goes out tempora

    • by CompMD (522020)

      Right, because the US government is going to allow its billions of dollars worth of vehicles, including hundreds of aircraft, to lose their primary navigation system. Especially when a significant number of vehicles are deployed to a war zone. And the thousands of commercial airliners and ships that use GPS, they'll be allowed to lose their navigation systems too. Can't forget about general aviation either, there are hundreds of GPS equipeped GA aircraft in the sky at any second. Do you really think tha

  • by sls1j (580823) on Tuesday June 09, 2009 @03:31PM (#28270309) Homepage
    And for those adventurous Alzheimer patients who want a 'critical wandering incident' Achme is now offering tinfoil shoe coverings.

    --Achme Sales Rep.
  • So if the person wanders off in a mall, or airport, or office building these shoes are precisely useless.

    Plus, of course, the obvious observation for Alzheimer's sufferers - will they remember their shoes contain GPS locators?

  • by serutan (259622) <snoopdoug&geekazon,com> on Tuesday June 09, 2009 @03:37PM (#28270399) Homepage

    A device for forcing Alzheimer's patients to keep their shoes on.

    • by DeskLazer (699263)
      Also under development: A device to keep the device on that forces Alzheimer's patients to keep their shoes on.
  • I don't think it ocured to them that many alzheimer and dementia patients like to strip down to their shiny birthday suits. Last I checked, shiny birthday suits don't generally include shoes.

  • by ReallyEvilCanine (991886) on Tuesday June 09, 2009 @03:54PM (#28270643) Homepage
    It has an occasional use but for the price of a couple of pairs of shoes (and don't forget the recurring monitoring fees/costs) there's a much easier solution [telegraph.co.uk] which has been highly effective.
  • [guy #1]: Looks like grandpa has wandered off again. Check the GeriatriFinder3000.com website to see where he's gone to.
    [guy #2]: Yeah, sure thing.
    [guy #2]: It looks like he's located off of 17th near bordello st.
    [guy #2]: I don't get why his locater dot is vibrating erratically on the screen like that, though. Strange.
    [guy #1]: Let me see that...
    [guy #2]: Say, isn't 17th & bordello right in the middle of the brothel district?
    [guy #1]: ?!?!!
    [guy #2]: I'm sure it's only coincidental...

  • This is a huge legal liability and invasion of privacy. You would have to keep the presence of the GPS feature hidden from the patient. Alzheimer's patients that do run away often experience paranoia. If they knew about the tracking device, they'd deliberately take off the shoes. They're not stupid, they're brain damaged. My mother was quite crafty for a while there, and when she got mean-spirited, you really needed to watch your step. If she had run, we'd probably not have found her in time. So, to be eff
  • by Altus (1034) on Tuesday June 09, 2009 @04:04PM (#28270763) Homepage

    Lister: Sometimes, I think it's cruel giving machines a personality. My mate Petersen once bought a pair of shoes with Artificial Intelligence. 'Smart Shoes' they were called. It was a neat idea. No matter how blind drunk you were, they could always get you home. But he got rattled one night in Oslo and woke up the next morning in Burma. You see, his shoes got bored going from his local to his flat. They wanted to see the world, you know. He had a hell of a job getting rid of them. No matter who he sold them to, they'd show up again the next day. He tried to shut them out, but they just kicked the door down.

    Rimmer: Is this true?
    Lister: Yeah. The last thing I heard, they sort of... robbed a car and drove it into a canal. They couldn't steer, you see.

    Rimmer: Really?

    Lister: Yeah. Petersen was really, really blown away about it. He went to see a priest. The priest told him... he said it was alright and all that, when shoes are happy that they'd get into heaven. You see, it turns out shoes have 'soles'.

    Rimmer: Ah, what a sad story. Wait a minute.
    [Thinks for a minute]
    Rimmer: How did they open the car door?

  • Aren't there GPS child trackers already available? If you were worried about an Alzheimer's patient, couldn't you just strap one of those to the person's wrist? I presume you can get them with bands that prevent easy removal, or could retrofit one.

    • The point of the shoes is that they're a little more dignified than bolting a tracking device to their wrist. My only experience with Alzheimers was with my great grandmother, but due to confusion and dementia, she often didn't realize she was ill and would resent efforts to keep her safe. If you tried to force her to wear a bracelet or something it would have gotten ugly. The shoes are very innocuous and the patient may not even realize or remember they have GPS and not object to them.
    • They will try to remove it and hurt themselves in the process. I work in a R&D department focused on e/tele-care and application of technologies to disabled/elderly and this problem of tracking people who suffer dementia and/or alzheimer is not as easy as you can think. An alzheimer patient can (and will) want to scape from whereever he/she is and would know that "that thing on his/her wrist or ankle" avoids him/her from doing so even while he/she doesn't remember his/her own sons and daughters. Alzheim

  • And the effort is appreciated, but my grandfather-in-law is in his latter stages of the disease, and he always wanders off without his shoes, different peoples' glasses, without a shirt. Its incredibly dangerous in the winter months here.

    I'm afraid I believe this idea will not catch hold.
  • So, assuming batteries so these people aren't dragging around a long extension cord, how are you going to get someone that doesn't know where they are etc. to remember and charge the batteries every night?

  • This brings up a great point, you see...uh...I forgot what I was going to say.
  • Less obvious than a bell though probably not "more humanizing." The loss of liberties has historically started with the powerless. Prisoners, the sick, the mentally ill. Then the military and the working class people. You're next.
    • by 4D6963 (933028)
      The loss of liberties, you mean, the loss of the liberty to wander off without even knowing why you're wandering or where you are?
  • I also want Bluetooth, IPOD connectivity, and a DVD player. Until then, I'm sticking with my boots with the 8-track built in the left one and a compass in the right.
  • I did a bunch of work for a dot-com startup in the early 2000s focusing on vehicle-tracking applications. I have a daughter with Down syndrome; Downs kids tend to wander too, so we looked at this issue quite hard. The good news: the technology is pretty straightforward. The bad news: that's about the only good news.

    Batteries
    A GPS chipset enables a controller embedded in the shoes (or on a device strapped to the person) to know where it is. The second half of the problem is to transmit your location to so

  • About 7 years ago a friend and I were driving down the road on our way to a late night bite at Denny's. It was 2AM and we drove by a person that I instantly recognized... it was my 2nd Uncle who had Alzheimers. We got out of the car and followed him on foot while calling his wife. It turns out he had walked 2 miles from his house and his she didn't even know he was gone. When she got there she asked him where he was going. He said, "back to our house." He was referring to his old house which was about 20 mi
  • Just what I need, GPS navigation for my shoes.

    Turn left in .01 miles...

2.4 statute miles of surgical tubing at Yale U. = 1 I.V.League

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