Thinking about a locating device?

It is important that people who are recently diagnosed with dementia have a discussion as early as possible with the people who are important in their lives. An open discussion with all concerned will help with the decision making. Support is available from your local Alzheimer Society.

You will also want to create a safety plan, which may include the use of locating devices and enrolling with a program such as MedicAlert Safely Home® or a vulnerable persons’ registry supported by your local police services or the OPP.

There are benefits and drawbacks to locating devices. Some people may consider the use of a device improves personal freedom and safety while giving caregivers peace of mind. Others may feel this is an invasion of privacy. To learn more about technology that can help people with dementia, download our Information on Locating Devices document.

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Consider the Ethics

Here’s some questions to help you consider whether a locating device is right for the person you know living with dementia:

  • During their life, what value have they placed on their freedom and versus their safety and security?
  • How do these values influence the decision to use a locating device?
  • At what point would it be agreeable to start using a locating device?
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Weigh Your Options

To determine what type of device best serves your needs you’ll need to consider a few things, for example:

  • Where will it likely be used (in a private residence, a care facility, indoors, outdoors or in multiple locations)?
  • Which devices are most appropriate for these settings? How much freedom of movement will the device allow?
  • Who will be doing the monitoring or locating: family? caregiver? police? outside organization?

Finding Your Way also has a product site where you can learn about available devices, compare products, and find out which one might be right for you or the person with dementia that you’re supporting. You can check it out here.

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Learn more about “Interacting with a person with dementia who may be lost” in one of our four 15 minute Online Learning modules

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