Age Matters Clinic


Toronto Geriatric Assessment and Memory Clinic

Shoe Fitted With a GPS System for Alzheimer's Patients

GPS Shoes for Alzheimers

Most of us, as we grow older are likely to develop many age-associated health issues like cataract, dementia, memory loss, cardio-vascular and kidney problems, etc. So it is very important that when we have elders in the family who need special care due to any of the above issues that we treat them kindly and patiently. The elderly have to be treated with as much patience and care as you would show to a newborn, because they can be equally helpless.

Those who are afflicted with Alzheimer's, a form of degenerative dementia, are the worst affected amongst the geriatric population. They initially lose their short term memory or recently acquired memory. The long term memory, cognitive abilities, reason and executive functions are retained till almost the very end. There are specialty clinics that cater to the elderly with special needs. Such clinics have trained staff on their payrolls who can tend to those suffering from memory loss.

They are trained to help the elderly to re-learn the basic functions that they might have forgotten, like eating a meal or tying their shoes. Such geriatric clinics and nursing homes also help in comprehensive assessment of the degeneration of the memory due to Alzheimer's, so that a treatment plan can be devised to suit the individual needs of the patient.

It is very difficult to look after someone with Alzheimer's all day, everyday. It is an accepted truth that Alzheimer's can take a heavy toll on the care-giver. It also can be taxing physically and financially. A patient with Alzheimer's needs someone to look after them 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Even a few minutes lapse on the part of the care-giver can lead to serious accidents or grievous injury.

Many elderly people suffering from Alzheimer's, having suffered sudden memory losses have been found wandering the streets, with no idea about their own identities, their whereabouts or how they came to be there. Such instances have led some enterprising shoemakers to design a shoe fitted with a GPS system. The care-givers can keep track of the patient through a smart phone or a computer. They can even set up a safe perimeter, so that when the patient wanders beyond the perimeter, an alarm is raised. The system consists of a SIM card and a rechargeable battery which has to be charged for 2 hours every alternate day.

We at the Age Matters Clinic, keep ourselves abreast of the latest trends, technology and research from around the world concerning our geriatric patients' care. Any new development that can help our patients to live better lives is analyzed and adapted to suit the individual needs of our patients. For instance, if a patient with Alzheimer's is wearing the GPS enabled shoe, the care-givers can relax with the knowledge that the patient is safe, while the patient can enjoy the freedom of movement, however limited, which would have been impossible otherwise.