People with dementia walk about or leave their homes in what may appear to be an aimless way, although it is likely that this behaviour has meaning for the person with dementia.
The more enlightened shift of emphasis towards the promotion of safe walking (rather than prevention of wandering), has evolved in order to balance a person with dementia’s need for autonomy with the need to minimise risk.
An overview of this project is given below. Quotation:
“Positioning devices can help locate the wearer if he/she becomes lost and fails to return or enters an area of danger. Integrated GPS/GSM devices are now becoming increasingly available and affordable, with improved performance more suitable to the demands of this application. This provides a less restrictive care option, where carers and family members benefit from greater peace of mind and, in some cases, the resources required to effectively care for that person can be reduced. There a number of different location device designs in the market…
The aim of this research is to investigate user requirements by collaborating with healthcare professionals, carers and users to optimise the design for this particular user group… The design and development of such a device raises a number of questions relating to acceptability, compliance and ethics.
The goal of this research is to develop a proof-of-concept for a GPS location device aimed at people with dementia”.
Read more: Supporting Safe Walking for People with Dementia.