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GPS tags for dementia patients

GPS tags for dementia patients
Dementia patients are to be fitted with GPS tracking devices for the first time to save police money searching for those who regularly go missing.

Police in Sussex hope to save hundreds of thousands of pounds by avoiding costly call-outs which can involve helicopters and several police officers.

However, the move was criticised by elderly care campaigners, who described the scheme as “inhumane”.

The head of adult services at East Sussex council pledged to launch an investigation. He said urgent questions needed to be asked because the tags could stigmatise the elderly and make them feel like criminals.

The tracking device can be worn around a patient’s neck, clipped to a belt or attached to a set of house keys. It features a button which enables the wearer to speak directly to an operator in a 24-hour call centre.

Family and friends can also log in to the system and monitor the whereabouts of their elderly relatives.

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