Dementia: GPS trackers given to victims to assist cease ‘tragic’ incidents


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The final time Len Jenkins was discovered wandering the streets close to his residence in Portishead a involved stranger made certain he was returned safely.

However Len’s son, Keith, worries continually about his 94-year-old father.

Len’s dementia means he can not at all times keep in mind the place he’s. His carers have put indicators on his entrance door telling him to not exit alone however nonetheless he sometimes forgets.

Keith, 76, lives 10 miles away and nonetheless works, so isn’t capable of watch him continually.

However he now has a brand new approach to regulate his father. Len was chosen by Avon and Somerset Police to obtain one among 30 new GPS tracker units being handed out to folks dwelling with dementia.

They’re being given to folks most vulnerable to going lacking. It means each households and the police can log in to an app and monitor the place they’re.

“I can loosen up a bit extra,” says Keith. “I can loosen up as a result of I really feel like all the things is in place to assist him as a lot as bodily potential.”

Keith provides: “I might put him in a house the place he might be 100% secure… or I might carry him residence the place he wished to be the place he is in all probability not fairly as secure.

“And so the programs we have put in place right here, I believe are one of the best compromise. He is at residence, he is comfortable and in my conscience I’ve achieved all the things to maintain him secure.”

Keith worries constantly about his father.
Keith worries continually about his father

The mission was the thought of Sergeant Stuart King who noticed there was a have to do one thing to assist.

“During the last 18 years of my police service it has been a daily prevalence and, actually, I’ve seen it extra lately the place we’re getting increasingly more calls to individuals who’ve received dementia who’re being discovered by members of the general public, both misplaced or in a distressed state,” Sergeant King says.

“And there are particular incidents I’ve attended as properly which have caught with me. Some have ended up in tragic circumstances and others have been folks dwelling with dementia who’ve travelled throughout cities to try to discover childhood houses which can be not there.

“So it was these types of incidents that led me to look into an answer to this to higher safeguard folks.”

The tracker connects to an app that families and police can log in to
The tracker connects to an app that households and police can log in to

The units have been funded by native firms Bristol Water and Wessex Water.

Stuart has already been contacted by police forces throughout the nation eager to roll out an identical scheme.

There are at present round 900,000 folks within the UK dwelling with dementia, in response to the Alzheimer’s Society, however that determine is predicted to rise sharply to 1.6 million by 2040.

Len has been found wandering the streets
Len has been discovered wandering the streets

The charity’s coverage supervisor, Gavin Terry, says with numbers on the rise there is a want for brand spanking new methods to help folks.

“Progressive know-how, like this initiative, is basically vital in serving to to do this,” he says.

“It is also a extremely good instance of how what’s discovered at present in on a regular basis know-how may be put to good use by way of serving to to maintain folks secure, assist their family members, help them and take care of them, enhance their wellbeing, and in lots of circumstances assist lengthen their independence.

“There are some moral concerns. And there ought to at all times be some actually clear tips round how this type of know-how is used, significantly for people who find themselves missing capability to make selections for themselves.”

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