A wrist watch-type device makes it easier to locate wandering Alzheimer’s patients — article by Scott Keith
Posted Jun 01 2011 6:05pm
You read about it in just about any city. An elderly man or women is suddenly missing. A victim of Alzheimer’s Disease may have wandered away from his or her home or assisted care facility. It may take police and family members hours, perhaps days to locate the individual.
This is not just a fear facing older Americans. Occasionally, a young person suffering from autism may venture far from home, causing anxiety or panic in a family.
A firm in the outskirts of Dallas, Texas offers a device that makes it easier to locate missing persons; the device resembles a common wrist watch. EmFinders founder Jim Nalley says the EmSeeQ is the first and only cellular-based emergency locator device.
Nalley, in an interview with Men and Health: It’s a Guy Thing, recalls the time he got interested in helping find missing people. “I was just watching the news one evening and there was a women who was missing. She couldn’t call. She couldn’t use her cell phone…How do you protect them when they can’t dial?…That’s where this all started from.”
According to Nalley, the EmSeeQ has been on the market for about a year and a half. “It’s a product that is worn around the wrist or ankle. It’s a watch-like device,” says Nalley. If the missing family member is wearing the EmSeeQ, the first step is to call the police. “Then you call our center (open 24-7 every day of the year). We activate the unit. When it comes active, it automatically calls 911 by itself…when it presents itself, it has a latitude and longitude and police dispatch to that location and they bring your child, Mom or Dad home.” The system is more effective, says Nalley, because it uses 911, through the cellular network, and not GPS. To prevent false alarms, there are no buttons on the device.
The EmSeeQ provides a longer battery life and indoor coverage. “If they wander into WalMart, we’ll find them in WalMart.”
Law enforcement agencies are benefitting from this technology. “From a law enforcement perspective, they get real cost savings on these things because these (missing person searches) are unfunded, unplanned events that they don’t really have the budget for. Plus, we’re protecting their citizens,” says Nalley, noting that quite a few agencies around the country are showing an interest in the EmSeeQ.
According to a new Alzheimer’s report, ten million baby boomers are expected to die with or from this frightening cognitive disease. “It’s going to get worse,” says Nalley. “As folks age…the number of folks with Alzheimer’s is going to increase. What that means is they’re going to start to lose their short-term memory. They’ll remember 20-30 years ago, but they won’t have their short-term memory facilities.” That means, adds Nalley, an Alzheimer’s patient could, conceivably, walk away from his or her care facility in the direction of a home they haven’t lived in for decades.
This is a “sandwich generation,” according to Nalley. “We may be taking care of parents who are in that situation and we may also have children who are born with autism.”
EmFinders.com is the easiest way for consumers to learn about the EmSeeQ. The website, www.emfinders.com , provides cost, lease and payment-plan information.