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A Safeguarding Hub – factsheet

This factsheet builds on our earlier article – ‘Vulnerable Missing People – Assistive and GPS Technology’, where we took a look at Assistive Technology (AT) and Global Positioning System (GPS). Both are valuable tools for those who have a safeguarding responsibility to both children and vulnerable adults. AT aides us in minimising the impact of someone going missing, whilst GPS is often an effective tool in locating that missing person quickly and safely.

A research product by the University of Southampton identified that “Of the half a million people in the UK with dementia who live in their own homes, more than 40 per cent will get lost at some point, and about 25,000 will get lost repeatedly, doubling their risk of admission to long-term care. Sadly, half of all those who go missing repeatedly for more than 24 hours die or are seriously injured”.

The researchers identified that the introduction of assistive devices early after diagnosis was potentially beneficial, allowing a person and their families to make informed decisions on how to mitigate risk and extend a person’s independence, whilst providing families with the reassurance that there are tactics in place to keep their loved ones safe. It was also recognised that early introduction allowed a person to become familiar and appreciate the benefits of the technology.

In the factsheet we look at preventative assisted technologies such as movement- activated voice alerts, temperature sensors medication reminders and daily activity monitors. We also look at the varying types of GPS trackers, from smartphone apps to geo-fence trackers.

Please note: Safeguarding Hub does not endorse any specific product featured within the factsheet. Our sole purpose is to highlight some of the products on the market. There are many manufacturers in the GPS and AT marketplace and we suggest that carer’s families and safeguarding professionals shop around for the most effective devices unique to your specific safeguarding issue. Consider the problem, do the research and identify the technology. Then read the reviews and be intrusive of the manufacturer.

The factsheet is available here – Assistive Technology and GPS Factsheet

Our other articles on Dementia related wandering are:

Dementia – An insight into Walking, Wandering and Missing

Dementia – Sundowning

Dementia – The Herbert Protocol

Dementia – Reducing the risk of harm from ‘Wandering’

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