Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Alzheimer's shoes

When I walk into any nursing facility I am always amazed at the security in place there. However, it is not just to prevent people from coming in but also preventing the confused residents from getting out. One of the major concerns with Alzheimers and Dementia patients is the their potential to wander away due to confusion. Over 5.4 million people are affected by Alzheimers in the United States. It is estimated 60% of patients suffering from Alzheimer's will wander off.

Recently, multiple shoe companies have attempted to address this problem with GPS (global positioning system) shoes. One company that has developed these shoes, Aetrex Worldwide, has also synched with Google Maps and can pinpoint exactly where a loved one has wandered to. The devices can be programmed to send off an alert when the patient has wandered out of a designated area. Also, by placing the device in the shoes it is less likely the patients will be able to remove the device. While these devices can not completely remove the incidence of patients wandering, it certainly can help eliminate the potential devastating events that can occur. This technology although first developed for runners has benefited many patients suffering with Alzheimer's and their families.

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