Less Expensive GPS Tracker for Dementia Parent?
February 23, 2012 9:43 PM   Subscribe

Less Expensive GPS Tracker for Dementia Parent?

My father has dementia but manages to get around his small town at the moment. I'd like to find a GPS tracker that can be worn on his wrist that looks like a nice watch and also tells time so he gets used to it now before he really needs it. The only one I've found is http://www.keruve.com/, but it's over $1400. The less expensive ones either don't really tell time or they are so huge, he'd never keep it on.

Anyone know of other choices?
posted by leahpeah to Health & Fitness (16 answers total) 6 users marked this as a favorite
Give him a phone. Most of them can be tracked these days.

Really, you're asking for a cell phone in a wristwatch -- the thing needs a GPS receiver to figure out its location, a cellular data radio to report its location, a battery big enough to power the whole thing for a reasonable amount of time, plus a timekeeping mechanism or display. That's going to be either expensive or bulky.

Possibly his insurance would cover it?
posted by kindall at 10:02 PM on February 23, 2012

Response by poster: We thought of a cell phone but he's too old to understand the concept or how to work it. He won't use the cell phone he has now and forgets it and leaves it places. It needs to be strapped to his wrist. Thanks for the suggestion.
posted by leahpeah at 10:08 PM on February 23, 2012

Runners use GPS, might look into products for them.
Here's one example in wristwatch form: digital heart monitor and GPS for runner
Drawbacks: it's bigger than a watch, and has shorter battery life - he would need to take it off and recharge it, I think. Couldn't wear it all the time.
posted by LobsterMitten at 11:18 PM on February 23, 2012

Another, with links to similar ones: cheaper smaller GPS watch for runner. (On a quick perusal, looks like there are two price points for these, around $100 and around $200ish, and the $200ish one has runner-specific features you don't need?)
posted by LobsterMitten at 11:22 PM on February 23, 2012

(Upon reflection, these won't work, will they? The unit needs to transmit its location, not just keep track of its location internally. Sorry for misunderstanding.)
posted by LobsterMitten at 11:23 PM on February 23, 2012

I was trying to see if anyone sold a device that attached to your keychain. Because maybe he's as good about remembering his keys as he is his watch. And a bulky object on your keychain is less noticeable than one on your wrist.

Unfortunately most of those devices are for locating your car, not your keys. Or they only work over short distances. But I'm throwing the idea out there in case someone has better Google-fu than I.
posted by sbutler at 11:39 PM on February 23, 2012

You may have some luck going in the opposite direction and thinking about how GPS tracking/transmitting is used for children nowadays. Here is wristwatch designed for kids but may work decently for older folks:

- http://www.brickhousesecurity.com/child-locator.html

As a datapoint, I've had great success with SPOT satellite trackers for my wilderness excursions...they may have a product available for your needs:

- http://findmespot.com
posted by rlef98 at 11:49 PM on February 23, 2012

GPS Dog Collars
posted by j03 at 12:14 AM on February 24, 2012

I found this on Amazon, and it is £199. No idea if it is any good, but it is at least what you are looking for.

"One of the biggest problems with GPS tracking devices is how to carry them? The FollowUs "boffin's" have radically solved this problem with the delivery of the GPS watch. Ideal if you have children, an elderly parent, or perhaps you travel abroad and wish to improve your security. The GPS watch will pinpoint your location to within meters, as well as tell you the precise time as set by the US military GPS satellites!"
posted by MuffinMan at 1:02 AM on February 24, 2012

I came to recommend gps dog collars as well, but check their range. Some are only trackable within a range. The one I know of is seven miles.
posted by princelyfox at 3:50 AM on February 24, 2012

You want the GPS shoe - $299, and you might even get him to wear them.
posted by caddis at 4:06 AM on February 24, 2012

Another option might be a silver alert - as written about by Mefi's own Onhazier in her blog about her sister with dementia. This is a medalert sort of bracelet - no gps but a phone number and registration with police. It has the advantages of being smaller and not needing to be charged but won't give you location data, will give people a way to track someone.
posted by leslies at 5:52 AM on February 24, 2012

The Garmin GTU 10 seems like a good solution. It's not a watch, but it's small and only costs about $150. You could attach it to his belt?

It lets you set up perimeter "fence" alerts so you could get alerted if he leaves, say, a 5 block radius from his house.
posted by MonsieurBon at 7:32 AM on February 24, 2012

Dealextreme has watch cellphones if gsm location would be enough for you. example

They also have watchy "personal location tracker" but I can't see from my phone if they transmit.
posted by Iteki at 7:41 AM on February 24, 2012

Here's a device with a belt clip (the site is kind of creepy because it sells devices to spy on people, but that's kind of what you want anyway).
posted by desjardins at 8:02 AM on February 24, 2012

Response by poster: I've glanced quickly over the suggestions and some of them seem like real possibilities. Thank you so much to all of you. I'll talk to my siblings and update here in a few months after we try one/some out.
posted by leahpeah at 8:36 AM on February 24, 2012

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