This is a review that will make your decision easier …
A number of topics/advantages are listed followed by an explanation of what to be aware of.
Quality of life and traffic safety:
Being able to move around freely provides quality of life. Of course, this requires that the resident is alert in the traffic so that he/she is of no harm to himself/herself and others.
A chance to move around freely:
The resident can go for a walk, but some might take the bus or other means of transport. Therefore, you should pay attention to how far the resident travels if he/she needs a helping hand to get back home. It is possible to activate a geo fence (an electronic area in where the resident is allowed to move around). If the resident moves outside of this area, an alarm is active on the mobile app. Make sure that this service is provided by the system (the supplier).
Safety and security for caregivers and relatives:
Knowing where your loved ones are will provide you with a sense of security. If the resident is unable to find his/her way back, there must be an agreement as to who will meet up with him/her and help him/her back.
A GPS unit must be recharged regularly. Make sure to incorporate a routine making sure that the GPS unit is always charged. It could be over-night charging, for example.
Different GPS units transmit their location at different intervals. Some transmit their location several times per minute, others have an update interval of 10 minutes or more. 10 minutes is a long time if you are out looking for a missing person.
When a resident goes missing, the situation can easily get stressful. Therefore, it is important that the GPS tracking is easy and intuitive. User-friendliness is a key parameter when choosing a GPS tracking system.
App vs. PC tracking:
Some GPS units are only traceable when logging on to a PC. However, it is not possible to take the PC along when you go out to meet the resident. For this reason, you should make sure that you can get an easy-to-use and intuitive mobile app with which you can track the resident.
Where does it work?
It works everywhere where there is mobile coverage. In practice, that is in most of the world. Make sure that the supplier of the GPS unit has made it available for international use so that you do not encounter any unpleasant surprises if you bring the GPS unit along on a travel.
Some GPS units enter into sleeping mode when they are not in use, making it difficult to see whether or not they are functioning. Therefore, you should make sure that the connected app shows you whether the GPS is on and how much battery life is left.
It is important the unit becomes an integrated part of everyday life, so the resident has it with him/her at all times. Therefore, make sure to find a GPS unit that the residents want to bring along. They exist in different forms, among others as an (almost) ordinary wristwatch.
Calls to the GPS unit:
You can call the GPS unit to hear what is going on. It is not everyone with a form of dementia who are able to use the GPS unit as a phone. It is not certain that they respond when you talk to them through the GPS unit. It is an advantage if the app allows you to call the GPS unit directly.