Thursday, May 26th, 2011 - Lifetracker
Lifetracker, a new personal tracking device developed in Australia, allows dementia sufferers a higher degree of freedom while letting their carers know exactly where they are at any given moment.

Lifetracker is a waterproof GPS GSM device designed to be worn comfortably and securely. As long as there is mobile reception, the wearer can be located quickly – usually in less than a minute - for the price of an SMS message.

The device incorporates an SOS system, adjustable Boundary Alert and microphone.

Fiona Rymer, the owner of Lifetracker, said that alongside Australia’s aging population there has been a corresponding rise in dementia* and dementia related wandering+.

“Dementia related wandering is stressful to carers and locating the missing person can be costly personally and financially for the carer and the community**,” Ms Rymer said.

“This issue is so prevalent that many carers know their local policeman on a first name basis. Carers mention times when helicopters have been used to locate their spouse who has dementia or their child who has autism. If they had been wearing a Lifetracker then the carer could have just sent an SMS to locate them within metres, within minutes.“

The Lifetracker Boundary Alert function is designed to send the carer an alert message when the Lifetracker wearer crosses a pre-set boundary.

“That means people who wander are unlikely to go missing in the first place,” Ms Rymer said.

“The major benefit of Boundary Alert is that people suffering from dementia can more readily be cared for in low-care facilities or at home. The cost of replacing family carers with paid carers is estimated at $5.5 billion per annum** and that's just the tip of the iceberg.

“The Lifetracker system is comfortable, secure and very user friendly - if you know how to SMS from your mobile then you can use Lifetracker.”

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Research Notes:

*“Given constant prevalence rate and population ageing and growth, Access Economics projected dementia prevalence to around 1.13 million Australians by 2050 (Access Economics, 2009a)”
Research report by Access Economics Pty Ltd for Alzheimer’s Australia July 2010, Vol 1, p 12: “Caring places: planning for aged care and dementia 2010 – 2050”.

**Research report by Access Economics Pty Ltd for Alzheimer’s Australia April 2009, iv “Making choices. Future dementia care: projections, problems and preferences”:
**The opportunity cost or lost productivity borne by individuals, business and Government is estimated at $881 million.
**The 63% of people with dementia who received formal care were cared for by 84,000 formal (paid) full time equivalent (FTE) staff. Each person with dementia received around 1,012 hours of formal care”

+ Henderson and Henderson, ‘Missing People - Issues for the Australian Community’, 1998
James, Putt and Anderson, ‘Missing persons in Australia’, 2008
• “35,000 people are reported missing each year in Australia – one every 15 minutes.*
• There are three groups most at risk of going missing:
  • those living with a mental illness,
  • young people
  • older people with dementia or memory loss.
• For every missing person reported, at least 12 others are affected whether it is emotionally, psychologically, physically or financially.“

For more information please go to www.lifetracker.com.au or call Lifetracker 1300 720 920 to speak with Fiona Rymer from Corteo Pty Ltd.
Fiona Rymer
P: 1300 720 920
W: www.lifetracker.com.au

Keywords

Lifetracker, dementia, dementia related wandering, aged care, GPS, Alzheimer's, Autism, Autism Support, What is Dementia, dementia support

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