A pilot program of a personal alert and location service for people with dementia has been launched by Alzheimer's Australia Victoria.
Safe2Walk is an easy-to-use GPS and mobile phone device that has been designed to support people’s independence and to reassure carers if a person with dementia goes missing.
The acting chief executive officer of Alzheimer's Australia Victoria, Jack Sach said, “People becoming disoriented from their usual environments and sometimes lost is quite common amongst people with Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia.
“It is distressing for the person and for their families. The Safe2Walk device helps people with dementia to maintain their independence and at the same time reduces stress for carers”.
Safe2Walk helps minimise the risks associated with wandering and most importantly it provides much-needed peace of mind. Whilst hard data is hard to gather, police estimate that about one in three people they search for have dementia. It is thought that about 60-80% of people with dementia wander at some stage.
The device can be worn around the neck on a lanyard or clipped to a belt and has a GPS function on it that updates the location every 60 seconds. Carers log on to a secure, easy-to use website and see where the person wearing the device is.
There is also a simple mobile phone component to the device, which is operated by one button, which holds up to three pre-programmed telephone numbers. If the primary carer’s phone number is busy, it will automatically divert to a second or third nominated carer. The phone also has an auto answer feature.
Safe2Walk® was developed after an extensive two-year study by Alzheimer’s Australia Victorias sister organisation, Alzheimer’s Australia Western Australia (WA). The service is already successfully operating in WA and New South Wales.
For more information about Safe2Walk, contact Alzheimer's Australia Victoria on 1800 100 500 or visit http://www.safe2walk.com.au