A little while ago I mentioned how I had been lent a tracking device to play with for a few weeks. Today I am writing up my thoughts, and hope you all agree.
Tracking is a difficult topic with dementia, how ethical is it? I have discussed this topic in a previous post, so feel free to check that out here : https://livingwithdementiablog.wordpress.com/2013/05/01/ankle-bracelets-key-trackers/
As you can see from my (very amateur) photo’s, the carers watch is very similar to a regular watch so it will not cause anxiety to the wearer. I can say from having worn it, it is very lightweight. I was expecting it to be bigger and heavier, what with the technology needed but was pleasantly surprised.
It works much like a mobile phone, using phone signals to communicate either by email, text or call. The red button is the emergency button and can be programmed to call either you, a loved one or local services (much like a lifeline bracelet). There are two buttons on the other side, which can also be programmed to hold a contact number so the wearer can call family members at any time, without worrying about being near a speaker unit.
Now for the tracking aspect. Once you have logged into the website you can set up speed, safe zone, destination. You choose from a large variety, and when the wearer of the watch goes over a speed, out of a safe zone, or to a destination the watch will text/email you to let you know. Within the text/email there will be GPS co-ordinates that mean you can locate the wearer, as well as a link to the map on the Carers Watch website. I tested all of the options, and the response from the watch to my mobile, and email accounts was almost automatic.
From the website you can also use the locate now button, to find your loved one, if they happen to have gone wandering, but not outside the safe zone you have set. This makes it much easier to find them again!
As you can also see there is a medication alert button. You can programme via the website, alotted times that medication need to be taken. So I used it to help me and nan remember to take her Cefalexin. And on the dot, the watch would tell us medication alert, time to take medication. Very helpful! Took a bit of time to get used to the voice coming out of nowhere though.
Another wonderful feature is that you can call the watch from your personal phone, and it does not ring but automatically connects, so you can listen in to the wearer and make sure they are OK. Especially if you know they are somewhere new. I would like to use it to make sure nan isn’t “slagging” me off!!
The battery life lasts about 24 hours and the watch comes with a spare battery and charging unit. It can also be adapted into a necklace or brooch to suit the user.
Overall I thought this watch was fantastic, and the exact sort of device I was hoping for. I really hope all councils support it, and make it more accessible to those who need it, as well as want it. Especially as it is ideal not only for those with dementia, but other groups too.
Thankyou to Mike for letting me learn more about it, and please keep me updated with any developments!