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Tracking the vulnerable

October 1, 2013

I think family members caring for those who are living with Alzheimer’s or Dementia should have the option to tag their vulnerable loved ones with a GPS tracking devise.  I’m not sure how this will be received but it is something I feel should be considered.

I was recently at a house gathering during the day and one of the family members in attendance has Dementia. He went ‘missing’ for a very short time but in that time no one knew where he was. It was deeply distressing for the family and even though he had only popped home across the road the time it took them to locate him was awful. And then followed the ‘what if’s’.

Around eight years ago I was going for a morning run. It was around 7am and I came across a woman standing beside her car crying her heart out. I stopped and asked her what was wrong and could I help. Her father, who had Alzheimer’s had gone missing the night before from Wicklow town. There was a massive search party out for him. I said I’d continue my run and keep a keen eye out for him.

On my way back I really willed and wished and prayed that I’d find him and asked that if I didn’t that someone nice would. The next second he stepped out in front of me and told me he was hungry. I told him there were loads of people looking for him and he said “I know, I did a great job hiding didn’t I. I thought the helicopter saw me for sure but then it flew away”.

If a GPS tracking device was made available to family member of vulnerable loved ones this sort of scenario would never occur.

If I ever show signs of Dementia or Alzheimer’s I absolutely want to be tagged.

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2 Comments
  1. Melanie mccabe permalink

    I was only thinking the same thing during the week. I think after what happened it might be received by families a little better.

  2. Mixed_Messages permalink

    It will always be a difficult balancing act between personal freedom and family (or other) control.

    After the recent child abuse incident in Athlone, the argument could be extended to having chips in children also and then a parent would need to decide if and when removed, if ever.

    For all its faults, I think I’ll take this world as it is rather than speed towards a version of a Brave New World

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