GPS Shoes for Wandering Alzheimers Patients

News headlines often read “Police searching for missing Alzheimer’s patient.” People with Alzheimer’s disease, a type of dementia, can often get confused and disoriented, and end up wandering off. Earlier this year, Ontario introduced a “Silver Advisory” program, similar to the Amber Alerts that are used to help locate missing children, to solicit the public’s help with finding wandering Alzheimer’s patients. Now caregivers of people with Alzheimer’s may be able to engage technology to help them.

GTX Corp, Aetrex and Omnilink Systems are working together to launch a series of shoes with built-in GPS tracking devices. The GPS shoes are expected to go on sale in the United States this month at a price of around $300. Purchasers will be able to subscribe to a service that will help them track Alzheimer’s patients and locate them if they wander off. According to Andrew Carle, a professor at George Mason University’s College of Health and Human Services, more than five million Americans suffer from Alzheimer’s and 6o percent of them wander and get lost. Patients who are missing for more than 24 hours can die of dehyrdration, exposure or injury, all of which can be prevented simply by knowing where the patient is.

Caring for an Alzheimer’s patient takes a significant toll on family members, who have difficulty watching their loved one slip away. As the number of Alzheimer’s patients continues to grow (Carle expects numbers to quadruple in coming years), the potential for them to go missing, resulting in expensive searches and potentially deadly results, also increases. Products such as these shoes can provide peace of mind for caregivers and also increased independence for Alzheimer’s patients who won’t need to be monitored as closely at all times.

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Photo credit: h.koppdelaney on flickr


Duane B.
.3 years ago

Thank you for sharing.

Veronica C.
Veronica C.4 years ago

I am distrusting of any tracking devices, but this is great, FOR THIS USE ONLY.

AlzheimerNetwø A.

We have been working with a company called Vision that designed a GPS Wristwatch that is specialized for locating a wandering patient as well. It´s called the Keruve Family Direct Locator. They also designed one for children with Autism called the Pikavu Express Locator. The shoe looks great but this actually locks to the person´s wrist. Other options!

Quanta Kiran
Quanta Kiran4 years ago


Martha Eberle
Martha Eberle4 years ago

sounds like a very good idea.

Nicole P.
Nicole Sedkowski4 years ago

This is wonderful news! I hope they get put to use.

Janice Redinger
Janice Redinger4 years ago

John, that is a medical procedure, and probably elective at that. Medicare is not going to pay for it. The shoes are good, but many people wander at night, right out of bed. So, I am at wits end trying to figure this one out. I would like the implants if we can get them done when the person is alert; Right after their diagnosis. AND make medicare or insurance pay for it.

june t.
june t.4 years ago

It's a good idea for both dementia patients and children (as long as they keep their shoes on).

D. T.
D. T.4 years ago

The chip is a great idea.

Caitlin Fowler
Caitlin F.4 years ago

sounds like a great idea, that could really work!