In a recent conversation with the wife of a man with moderately advanced dementia the issue of how to prevent wandering came up and I thought of 3 things that can be rather cheaply and easily deployed, the Ring doorbell and window alarm technology and the invisible fence for dogs.
The Ring device will alert someone by a signal on their phone and video feed indicating what's happening at a specific entry location. The devices are about $100 and there's no need for the monthly recording system unless you are not at home and then you can record activity at each location so if someone walks out you can see initially where they went. The video can then be immediately forwarded to the police regardless of where you are at the time of the alert.
I think that putting a shock collar and/or sound alarm on someone's ankle or around their knee would provide a moderately negative stimulus that could alert caregivers and maybe stop someone from crossing out of a property zone. If this were combined with a Ring-type device it might offer a chance to intervene before the person has wandered to where they could be injured or worse. Other Ring users can also be connected to allow for tracking someone's movements if they did leave the property. Neighbors can be alerted and coordination could be establshed with little effort and no expense.
This kind of intervention is obviously for when verbal interaction is not possible and where there is little or no recall or ability to process verbal instructions or make good judgments about personal safety and the management of impulses.
We will be seeing if we can get the company to support a clinical study of this approach to Ring use in neighborhoods where people with dementia are living and need to remain in their homes as long as possible.
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