If an aging loved one becomes lost or disoriented at times you may want to consider utilizing a GPS locator or a wearable device in order to track their whereabouts and find them in an emergency. The development of GPS medical alert systems has changed the way the elderly receive round-the-clock care while living at home. The changing technology does offer comfort for caregivers and autonomy to the elderly.
The adoption of GPS medical technology has its pros and cons. Before purchasing and jumping into using a GPS medical device (mobile or wearable) read the list below to determine if utilizing this technology is the right choice for you and your loved one.
The Pros and Cons of Geolocation Tools for Seniors
Those that use a GPS tool to monitor their loved ones have noted that it does offer the ability for both the wearer and caregiver to live an independent life but remain connected in the event of an emergency.
The downside of using a GPS tool is misguided safety. Overly relying on the device may give the wearer more freedom but that can come with decreased physical interaction and connection. Requiring the device to be on the person at all times can prove difficult if the wearer simply removes it or leaves it at home. Also, privacy can become a source of contention since the device will be tracking and monitoring the wearer at all times.
The information below describes the pros and cons of the specific geolocation tools in more detail.
General Concerns of Technology in Home Care
Keep the following questions in mind when determining what tool is best for you and your loved one:
- Will it replace the element of personal contact?
- If the technology of a GPS locator is how health is monitored, will the family or caregiver not check-in as often and provide the personal, emotional contact needed?
These concerns are valid and will take time to answer since the emerging technology is new and rapidly changing.
Wearable Technology and Mobile Apps
GPS technology for the older and/or infirm can be wearable or in the form of a mobile app. These tools are specifically designed to track and monitor the location of a person. The person will be connected to a caregiver through this device.
Remote Monitoring Tools
In a different look at GPS tools, remote monitoring devices create a direct link between your loved one and access to health monitoring tools. This type of technology allows an individual to actively monitor his or her health remotely.
In general, the tools listed above do provide tremendous opportunities to improve the quality of care. The growing market of technologies is not a way to relieve the responsibility of the caregiver, but they should enhance a caregivers' ability to provide comprehensive and high quality care for their loved one.
For more information, check out What Are the Top 10 Products to Track My Elderly Loved One's Location?