Use A GPS Tracking Device To Monitor The Location Of A Parent Suffering From Alzheimer's While Traveling

Posted on: 18 April 2016


Traveling with someone who even has a mild case of Alzheimer's can be scary and frustrating. The person suffering from Alzheimer's is being taken out of their comfort zone and can start to show an increased amount of confusion as they stay in the unfamiliar surroundings of hotels and motels. And unfortunately, you can't expect to be by your parent's side 24 hours a day to prevent them from wandering off. However, you can still monitor your parent's movement and whereabouts by placing a tracking device on them. Here is how you can use a tracking device to keep a watchful eye on your parent while traveling.

GPS Monitoring Device

You need to get a Global Positioning System (GPS) device that can fit into a wallet or a purse – something your parent takes with them whenever they leave home and go for a walk. You can even get a small device that can be connected to a bracelet so it can be worn all the time while you are traveling.

How GPS Works

The device connects to a few of the 29 GPS satellites orbiting the earth all at once. There are typically four satellites in the sky at once above wherever you are standing in the world that the devices can use to establish a connection to the GPS system. Three of the satellites will send information back telling you the longitude and latitude of the GPS device you are tracking. You can use your cellphone, if it has GPS mapping capabilities, to put in those coordinates and have the phone create a map you can follow to reach those coordinates. Some monitoring systems will be able to provide the exact name of the location whether it's a street address or a commercial building.

Monitoring Services

You need a service that will track the type of device you are using to monitor your parent. If your parent has a smartphone that is always on, and they take with them all the time, you can typically use a service provided by the cell phone service provider to get the GPS coordinates for their location at any time. Otherwise, you can hire a service that will connect you to the GPS system. You will normally get a handheld device you can use to see where your parent is, or they can provide you software or an app that you download onto your computer or smartphone to connect to their system so you can monitor your parent's whereabouts.

Traveling with a parent with Alzheimer's can be challenging. A GPS device that your parent carries around with them all the time can at least help alleviate the concerns you might have about your parent wandering off and getting lost.

For more information and tips on Alzheimer's care, it may be good to talk with a medical professional, especially before taking your parent on a trip.