Jan 20, 2012

Breadcrumb for Alzheimer's Wandering

Wandering.It's one of the biggest problems with Alzheimer's disease and other dementia. It endangers the person with Alzheimer's disease. And it also causes major stress for caregivers.

By Alzheimer's Reading Room

However, at the risk of being a jerk, those people in the video didn't remind me of Dotty and me. They are so well dressed and happy. Do they remind you of you? Maybe Ward and June Cleaver?

On the other hand, I must admit, as hokey as this video is, I did find myself smiling and feeling happy near the end. I have to figure they did a good job on the video. Your thoughts?

Breadcrumb is designed to "meet the specific needs of families dealing with the Alzheimer's disease and the serious, life-threatening issue of wandering- which, experts say, occurs in 60% of cases of Alzheimer's disease at some point during the disease progression."

Would your loved one wear this on their ankle?

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Alzheimer's Foundation of America and Breadcrumb Introduce State-of-the-Art GPS Locator Device to Help Track Wanderers

Directly addressing the major—and life-threatening—issue of wandering among individuals with Alzheimer's disease, the Alzheimer's Foundation of America (AFA) and Breadcrumb L.L.C. today announced the roll-out of a state-of-the-art locator device and caregiver-friendly monitoring system. This innovative new tracking device is designed specifically for the dementia population and aimed at immediately and precisely pinpointing a person's whereabouts.

The partners are scheduled to launch the Breadcrumb BC300 GPS Locating Device (QVC Item #V31691) on QVC January 20 at 1 p.m. (ET). It will be the first Alzheimer's-specific product offered through the leading multimedia retailer. The system is complete with an adapter, charging station, USB cable, rechargeable batteries, attachment bands, and an instructional DVD.

In addition, the BC300 will be available on AFA's e-store at www.alzfdn.org and directly from Breadcrumb at www.breadcrumbgps.com.

As one of the smallest, most-lightweight and highly affordable tracking devices on the market, the BC300 is strapped comfortably around a person's ankle with a heavy-duty band. Designed with the symptoms of Alzheimer's disease in mind, including memory loss, confusion and other cognitive loss, the device is not dependent on the user's activation.

Utilizing a global positioning system (GPS) and cellular technology that receives signals from satellites, the device continuously maps a person's precise location and provides a "breadcrumb trail" of the exact route. Caregivers can access the wearer's real-time whereabouts around-the-clock on a Google map via an Internet-connected computer and/or smartphones.

The BC300 system works by setting up a virtual fence, or geofence, around a person's residence and/or other locations, such as a relative's home or an adult day center, and sends an alert when the wearer leaves that zone.

Using a protocol developed in collaboration with AFA, experienced operators at Breadcrumb's customer care center will also have the ability to obtain vital information about wearers, monitor the system 24/7 and alert up to five designated caregivers or others via phone, e-mail or text when a person has become lost. Local authorities will be notified when necessary.

According to experts, every person with dementia who can walk is at risk of becoming lost and faces a 61 percent risk of death if not found within the first 24 hours.

"The BC300 is an exciting, proactive solution to one of the most challenging behaviors among people with Alzheimer's disease," said Eric J. Hall, AFA's president and CEO. "Its unique features are designed specifically for this vulnerable population, to serve as a virtual 'watchdog' for caregivers and help protect the safety of loved ones. It's all about quality of care and ultimately quality of life for potential wanderers and caregivers."

According to Sam Mancuso, Breadcrumb's CEO, the device relies on technology that Breadcrumb developed and effectively utilizes for other types of situations, including war zones overseas. Breadcrumb and AFA have been working together on tailoring it for Alzheimer's disease for more than two years.

"This breakthrough device advances our technology and practically applies it for individuals with Alzheimer's disease. This powerful combination of technology and customer care marks a new generation of locator systems that offers peace of mind to families," Mancuso said.

AFA and Breadcrumb are unveiling the locator as the incidence of Alzheimer's disease is skyrocketing, fueled by the large number of baby boomers who are turning 65 each day and, as a result, are facing a higher risk of the brain disease. Advanced age is the greatest known risk factor.

The Alzheimer's Foundation of America, based in New York, is a national nonprofit organization that unites more than 1,600 member organizations nationwide with the goal of providing optimal care and services to individuals with dementia, their caregivers and families. Its services include counseling and referrals by licensed social workers via a toll-free hot line, e-mail, Skype and live chat; educational materials; a free quarterly magazine for caregivers; and professional training. For more information about AFA, call toll-free 866-AFA-8484 or visit www.alzfdn.org.

SOURCE Alzheimer's Foundation of America

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Originally published Alzheimer's Reading Room