For carers and family members of people with dementia, seeing your loved one battle the disease can be a fraught and worrying time.
Alongside the obvious concerns for their declining mental condition, people with dementia can also spark every day safety concerns, given that they are less able to look after themselves.
In fact, those with loved ones who had dementia often report that they can go wandering, without a plan or letting anyone now where they are.
But it seems that a new product could help to end those concerns for good.
Dementia patients could soon be given a pair of NHS slippers with a GPS tracker fitted in them, to ensure their loved ones or carers always know their location. The tracker will however be fitted into a sole insert – so it can be transferred to other footwear.
The idea is that an alert will be sent to their carer’s phone, if they are found to be out of the bounds of a pre-determined safe area – such as a garden or home.
The slippers could reduce the risk of dementia patients wandering off on their own – a situation which could pose huge risks for their health.
However, the NHS tracker slippers won’t come cheap. They’ll cost £75 to buy, and customers will also need to pay a monthly charge of £26, for the tracker.
The idea has however been praised by various charities, who claim that the idea could ‘save lives’.
Sally Copley, from the Alzheimer’s Society, said, “When used appropriately, the use of GPS tracking for people with dementia can provide reassurance and even save lives.”
Professor Tony Young, from NHS England also said to The Sun, “GPS smart slippers help keep patients with dementia safe and give families peace of mind.”
GPS tracker-fitted slippers for dementia patients are initially set to be trialled in Dorset. If successful, it’s thought that it will then be rolled out across the country.
What do you think of the idea? Would you use it?