Wandering relatives. Dementia and memory loss brings real hardship both for a Sufferer and those looking after him or her. When a Sufferer wanders off and gets lost, the stress on all concerned can be chronic. Being able to know such a person's location at any time has obvious advantages.
By attaching one of our GPS tracking and alerting devices to a Sufferer's clothing unobtrusively, or getting him or her to wear it around their neck, wrist or ankle, their (and its) location can be viewed on any kind of an internet device. It's usually necessary for a principal Carer to get, and learn how to use, a smart-phone. To help in this regard, we have provided two phone apps - an iOS app for iPhones or iPads and an Android app as well as 3 browser-based user interfaces.
Using anything with an internet connection, those caring for a person wearing a tracker can see their whereabouts at any time, and be reassured. Using either the Track panel (Silverlight) user interface or the Android app, it's possible to define a zone or perimeter around a location so that the tracker will send alerts if the tracker enters or leaves the zone. These are called "zone alerts". Some examples of a zone would be a street or farmyard where he or she lives. How to do this is contained in ...use Zone alerts (geo-fences). This requires that at least one mobile phone number (max: 3 numbers) needs to be entered for each zone. Up to 4 zones can be set up. Each can be a circle or a polygon. Call us if you need help in setting up a zone. Zones need to be a min of 300m in diameter.
Because much of this will be unfamiliar to elderly carers and family members, help from tech-savvy family members to set up and teach will be invaluable. When a Carer logs into the Track Panel [Mobile] they will see the position of the tracker (and its host) as an icon on a Google map or equivalent.
Operating the tracker: Needless to say, the tracker needs to be switched on and be at least partially charged. The tracker illustrated below (Prime1) has an internal battery will last typically 7 days of normal use, and consequently needs to be charged weekly. The battery level below which the tracker will send a low battery alert message to the (Carer's) phone by SMS can be set by users in the Admin section of the Track Panel. By default it's set to 20% of full charge. It's a good idea to develop a habit of charging at a specific time of the week.
Customers set the time interval between position reports, which can range from 10secs to 60 mins. With a low time interval, the current position and the historical trail will be more accurate, but the rate of consumption of position credits will be higher. If the interval is too long, the physical distance between consecutive reported positions may be too high to make finding them easy. In such circumstance, searchers can either wait for the next scheduled position report, or they can press the "Locate" button in the Track Panel for an immediate update. When searching for someone, reduce the time interval to 10secs until he/she is found.
When trackers stop moving, they go to sleep and stop sending position reports. If the device is attached to something like a trouser belt, it will tend to keep moving and not sleep. To avoid this, it might be possible to attach the device to something like a coat, which may not keep moving to the same extent. Alternatively the tracker can be set to run in Battery Save mode, whereby it sends out position reports irrespective of motion, at time intervals ranging from 30mins to 4hrs. This doesn't give up to the moment locations, but it does reduce position credit usage. Customers have many options from which to choose.
Pouch: The Prime trackers comes with a pouch that can be threaded onto a belt or strap (up to 36mm wide). It can be placed into a handbag or even fitted inside a lining. It is important for it not to be an irritant to the host, or they might remove it. There is also a magnetic pouch accessory allowing it possibly to be attached to the ferrous tubing e.g. on a wheelchair. There's also a fabric loop to allow the pouch to be attached to something. It is important that the tracker remains attached to the person's clothing or something that they will keep with them and not discard. This may call for experimentation to come up with a location and means of attachment that's acceptable to the person wearing it. The pouch and device are water/splash resistant but not waterproof. See our Accessories/Pouches section or somewhere like eBay for other pouch types that might work. This can be very challenging.
Leather Belt: We no longer offer the Leather Belt tracker, which had a tracker sewn into the leather, which had reliability problems. However, we offer a service to attach a Prime Pr-ME tracker to a belt that a customer sends to us. Contact us to discuss.
Key-ring Prime1-K: In response to customer requests and suggestions, a metal loop was added to the end of a Prime1 to allow its attachment to a key-ring. Often keys are among the last things that dementia patients forget. The indicator LEDs on the Pr1-K are covered with black tape to prevent undue distractions, as is the SIM card slot and the product's back information label. To prevent ongoing false alarms, the Function or SOS button has been disabled. With this version, it may be necessary to invent a cover story for it, such as it being an extension of the house alarm system.
Panic button: If the Sufferer's memory permits, he or she can also be trained/shown how to press the tracker's SOS/Panic button. When pressed for more than ~4 secs, this will cause an immediate alert to the Carer(s) with their last position co-ordinates in an SMS message or email containing a WAPlink that if clicked will show the last reported position on a Google map.
The Prime's large frontal oval or round button is the Panic button, not the On/Off button which is a small recessed button on the device's bottom edge. Assuming the tracker is on, the information from one of our trackers will help Carers find the bearer in a short time, as long as the smart-phone / tablet / laptop has an internet connection. Alternatively speak to someone by phone who is at a computer - to get directions. If the panic button is a nuisance, with multiple false alerts, we can disable it if you contact us - Contact.
Family technical know-how: An important consideration is that someone needs to help train the Carer(s) to become comfortable with using a modern device like a smart phone, which will be needed to find a lost person. Fortunately our trackers are simple to use, but considerable help and patience will be required from other family members to transfer competence. We have tried to provide as much training information as possible on this website, and will help train relatives by phone in this regard as much as possible. It would be helpful if the family member's mobile phone number could be added to the list of alert recipients, at least in the early stages, to help deal with the false alarms that will probably occur.
Geo-Fence: Using the Track Panel, it is possible for a Carer to set one or more virtual perimeter(s), also known as Geo-fences, around particular places (up to 4), so that if the tracker leaves (or enters) these zone(s), SMS alerts will be sent to the specified recipient(s). See yellow zone in image above. Four zones can operated simultaneously, with each zone can have up to 3 different SMS alert recipients. There can be alerts on entering, or leaving, each zone, or both, as set by customer when defining zones. This zone alert feature can be turned on and off as required. Those receiving alerts from the tracker obviously need to be told to expect them possibly/probably, and what to do if/when they do. See HowTo section on Zones.
Our devices are listed in the Assist Ireland website, where they can be compared to other less versatile and much more costly alternatives.