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GPS Locator Devices for People With Dementia.


Topfer LA.


CADTH Issues in Emerging Health Technologies. Ottawa (ON): Canadian Agency for Drugs and Technologies in Health; 2016-.147.
2016 Aug 31.


Wandering is a common behaviour in people with dementia, but cognitive impairment can cause them to become disoriented and lost. Locator devices that use GPS (global positioning system) are assistive technologies that can help to promote safe walking by alerting caregivers when a person with dementia wanders outside of a designated area, and providing the geographic coordinates of that person so they can be found more easily. Because locator devices are a form of surveillance, using them raises ethical and legal issues regarding privacy and autonomy, but people with dementia and their caregivers believe the potential benefits outweigh potential harms. Locator devices may reduce the time required to find missing individuals with dementia and the costs associated with search and rescue operations. Locator devices may increase the independence, autonomy, and freedom of some people with early- to moderate-stage dementia, and reduce caregiver anxiety and stress. Evidence on the cost-effectiveness of locator devices is still needed.

Copyright © CADTH 2016. You are permitted to reproduce this document for non-commercial purposes, provided it is not modified when reproduced and appropriate credit is given to CADTH.

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