GPS trackers offer peace of mind, help families stay connected, and locate a wandering loved one. They also help provide independence. Some devices may include safety features like fall detection or a built-in emergency services alert.
Disorientation, forgetfulness, or other cognitive impairments may cause older adults with dementia or Alzheimer’s to wander. Unfortunately, “six in 10 people living with dementia will wander at least once, and many do so repeatedly,” according to the Alzheimer’s Association.
If a loved one gets lost, they might hurt themselves or wind up in a life-threatening situation. These are huge concerns for family members and caregivers trying to ensure their safety and well-being.
Here’s a look at five of the best GPS devices to help keep the seniors in your life safe.
AngelSense makes a GPS tracker that’s small enough to fit inside the coin pocket of a pair of jeans. You attach it to clothing with special pins, and it requires a special magnetic key to remove it.
The product offers “accurate, non-stop GPS tracking in real-time” on a live map that caregivers and family members can see on a smartphone, tablet, or computer. Unexpected wandering or transit delays trigger alerts. There’s also an SOS button and a two-way speaker to talk to your loved one.
Wearable accessories include a wristband, belt, undershirt, or lanyard. AngelSense also offers a watch. Devices cost $229, along with a subscription, and you might catch a sale price on the AngelSense website.
The Jiobit GPS tracker from Life360 is lightweight and about the size of an Oreo cookie. A Wired reviewer said, “The Jiobit is by far the easiest and most attractive tracker I’ve ever used.”
The device uses Bluetooth, wi-fi, cellular, and GPS via a next-gen 5G network to track a loved one from anywhere. Battery life is seven to 10 days, and you can clip the tracker to shoes, clothes, backpacks, and more with an integrated loop.
P.C. Magazine praises the Jiobit for its “extraordinarily accurate location data,” even in remote places.
You can create a “Trusted Places” list and receive alerts if a loved one goes beyond them. Multiple people can monitor location in real-time and even switch to a turn-by-turn mode. The wearer can click a help button twice to notify caregivers if they are in distress or need assistance. However, there is no talk function.
The Jiobit costs $129.99, along with monthly subscription plan fees.
Photo: Mark Bowden via 123RF
The Tracki is a #1 Best Seller in GPS Trackers on Amazon and touts itself as “the smallest and lightest GPS tracker.” The device offers unlimited distance real-time tracking with full USA and worldwide coverage on any network with a built-in SIM card. The rechargeable battery lasts up to five days in real-time tracking mode. Multiple people can monitor motion via a smartphone app and receive movement, boundary, speed, and panic button alerts.
Tracki lists for $28.88 on the company website, with an additional subscription fee. It has a waterproof cover, magnet, lanyard, belt clip, and keychain.
The SOS Mobile device from Bay Alarm Medical clips onto a pocket with a belt clip, or users can wear it around their neck on a lanyard. It features GPS and wi-fi location tracking that families can follow on an app and a fall detection alert (requires a $30 device fee).
If your loved one presses the panic button, a live operator will talk to them 24/7 and alert caregivers, family, and friends or send 911 emergency services if needed. These additional features offer families and users another layer of protection and peace of mind. Battery life is up to six days, and the device is water-resistant. You can try SOS Mobile on a 30-day risk-free trial and start a monthly subscription.
For a discreet option, the GPS SmartSole is a lightweight, water-resistant tracker hidden and sealed inside a shoe insert. All the wearer has to do is slip on their shoes, and you can monitor their location. Coverage works across the U.S. via the 4G T-Mobile cellular network.
You can create unlimited geozones and receive email and text alerts when your loved one enters and exits those areas or monitor their whereabouts on a mobile device using an app.
A pair of inserts costs $359, and a monitoring service plan is required for connectivity. According to SmartSole, plans include a MetAlert Monitoring Portal account, Smart Locator App, and alert notifications.
The company also advises testing connectivity when the inserts arrive, and you can return them for a refund if coverage isn’t good in your area.
Knowing exactly where your loved one is and being able to locate them quickly if they wander is essential. These GPS wearables offer the functionality, security, and peace of mind that caregivers want and need.
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