Q.: My 87-year-old husband with Alzheimer's disease is beginning to wander and I am very concerned. Is there anything I can do?
A.: Wandering is among the biggest problems that afflict Alzheimer's patients and one that causes stress and fatigue for their caregivers. New technology, however, is offering a promising solution - the i-TAG-along GPS.
The small GPS tracking device can be used for many safety objectives like the tracking of children or teenagers, but the main objective - where there can be the largest impact - is the protection of senior citizens with some form of dementia or Alzheimer's, according to Jenaro T. Centeno, principal of i-TAG Identity Solutions in St. Louis.
"Our GPS tracking device operates through global positioning satellites and has additional features such as live monitoring from any Internet-enabled computer, geofencing to establish a perimeter, text and e-mail alerts and an SOS call function," Centeno said.
About the size of a 9-volt battery, the GPS tracking device operates with a battery that lasts a week on average and is rechargeable, according to the company website. The i-TAG-along GPS also can be programmed with a geofence - an area in which the person wearing it can travel, but if they leave that area, an alert will be sent via text, e-mail or voice.
Why not talk with a geriatric care manager in your area for more advice and information about caring for your spouse. To find a geriatric care manager in your area, visit www.caremanager.org. As your husband's disease progresses, you likely will need more assistance.
A professional caregiver can assist your husband around the home and, more importantly, provide you with a needed respite so you can rest or even get away for a few hours a day.
Many of the Home Instead CAREGivers have experience caring for older adults with dementia or Alzheimer's disease. CAREGivers are screened, trained, bonded and insured and have successfully cleared criminal backgrounds checks. Assistance at home could be just what you need to put your mind at ease.
For more information about Home Instead Senior Care, contact DeLauter at 522-6533 or visit www.homeinstead. com.
For more about the technology, log on to www.i-tag.biz/1801.html.
DeLauter is the owner of the Home Instead Senior Care office in Lewisburg, which serves Union, Snyder, Northumberland, Lycoming, Clinton and Montour counties.