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Personal alarm stories: Supporting people with Alzheimer's and Dementia

John has Alzheimer’s disease and uses his GPS personal alarm to live independently. Taking Care used the GPS to find John when he went missing.

November 11, 2019

Alzheimer and dementia alarm

Our GPS alarm tracker and 24-hour monitoring service provides freedom to people living with dementia and peace of mind for their families. The service keeps people living with dementia safer, reducing the support they require from health and social services and from the emergency services.


Life saving GPS tracker 

John, 73, had been diagnosed with alzheimer’s disease and went missing on Christmas Day when he went out walking with his family.

John was wearing a GPS alarm tracker monitored by Taking Care’s Emergency Resolution Centre. His wife, Rosemary, called the Emergency Resolution Centre to ask if they could locate her husband.

The team have proven experience of locating people living with dementia and were able to co-ordinate a response from the South Western Ambulance and Lulworth Coastguard team. The GPS device is accurate to approximately 10 metres and automatically updates every 3 minutes so the Emergency Resolution Centre were able to successfully pinpoint John’s location, reducing the search operation time.

John was in a distressed state when he was found. He had attempted to get over a barbed wire fence, resulting in injuries, and was stuck in some mud. John was suffering from hypothermia and had to be airlifted to Dorset County Hospital.

Living with Alzheimer's

Rosemary said, "If John hadn’t been wearing the device around his neck, it would have been very difficult to locate him. If it hadn’t been for the people helping us, I dread to think what would have happened."

"I panicked as soon as I realised that John was missing. It was surprising how far he got in such a short space of time. I cannot explain how much of relief it is to know that when you have lost someone that there is a way of finding them again. If it hadn’t been for the people helping us, I dread to think what would have happened."

"The device assists us on a regular basis. For example, if I’m sorting the washing out upstairs and John happens to leave the house for a walk, I know that I will be able to locate him if he doesn’t return. On another occasion, John asked if he could wait for me while I popped into a shop for two minutes. When I returned, John had walked off. However, I was able to call the Emergency Resolution Centre, who told me exactly where I could find him."


Remaining independent 

"The device gives John his freedom and provides me with reassurance that I can find him if he wanders."

"The device is absolutely invaluable and I wouldn’t be without it. Knowing what a difference the device has made to us, I now want to make sure that others in a similar position are aware that this is available."

The value of the GPS tracker alarm monitoring service is recognised by Chichester District Council and the local emergency services and health authority. Cllr Eileen Lintill, Cabinet Member for Well-being and Community Services, said “The device helps to give freedom to those with dementia, and reassurance to their families – 24 hours a day, every day of the year. Even on Christmas Day, the service is helping to save lives.”

"It quite literally has helped to transform people’s lives. Even if someone is recovering from a major illness, they are able to continue with their day-to-day lives and know that our service is there if they need it."

Taking Care also offer a version of the GPS personal alarm that allows the user to speak directly to the Emergency Resolution Centre.

Photographs for illustration only.

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