GPS Bracelet for Seniors
As the mobile personal emergency response device market grows, companies are getting innovative about the services they offer. While most mPERS devices currently on the market offer some combination of 911 notification and communication, optional fall detection, and location tracking, there’s a need for devices that serve seniors whose mobility outstrips their cognitive condition. Elders with mild dementia or those recovering from a stroke or other brain injury often do best in familiar surroundings—as long as they can be safe from wandering away and becoming disoriented.
Adiant Mobile is a Florida-based company that partners with MobilMAX of Taiwan to offer GPS-enabled tracking devices for the military, law enforcement, private industry, special needs children and adults, and pets as well as for seniors who need a bit of extra supervision for safety. Adiant’s new MX-LOCare GPS Bracelet offers protection for seniors who may not recognize an emergency situation right away or who may not be able to communicate verbally when they need help.
The MX-LOCare GPS Bracelet offers location and fall monitoring indoors and out via GPS, cellular service and a plug-in beacon for indoor geolocation. The device is adjustable to fit wearers from toddlers to adults up to 300 lbs.
Caregivers can receive text alerts when the device is removed from the wrist, when the wearer pushes the SOS button, and when a fall is detected. They can also monitor location via computer or smartphone (iOS or Android). The MX-LOCare’s geofencing capabilities allow caregivers to set up as many as 10 safe zones and to receive alert when the wearer leaves a safe zone, to reduce the risk of wandering and injury.
The MX-LOCare unit looks like a fitness tracker or watch, making it an appealing choice for seniors who want to avoid the look of a traditional mPERS device. The strap can be locked in place with a key to prevent accidental loss or removal, and the device is waterproof to a depth of 10 feet so it can remain in place for bathing, swimming, and hydrotherapy. The bracelet can also be worn while the battery is recharged by the MX-PowerEXT unit. The combination of GPS and cellular location gives highly accurate location readings. The safe zone option allows wearers freedom of movement while still protecting against the sort of wandering that’s common among dementia patients. The battery can last up to 55 hours on a single charge.
Unlike many mPERS offerings on the market, the MX-LOCare unit’s SOS panic button sends an alert to caregivers but doesn’t contact emergency services or provide 2-way communication through the device. Because the MX-LOCare unit depends on GPS and cellular signals to provide tracking data, it may not function well in areas where GPS and cellular signals are disrupted and cannot function where cellular coverage is unavailable. GPS positions are read every 3 minutes, which means it can take up to 3 minutes to detect and send an alert if the wearer leaves a geo-fenced zone. The rechargeable battery is integral to the MX-LOCare unit and cannot be replaced.
The MX-LOCare unit warranty lasts one year from the purchase date and covers material and workmanship defects that arise under normal use. Adiant recommends daily charging of the mobile unit to guard against loss of power.
The list price for the MX-LOCare GPS Waterproof Bracelet is $499, which includes a year of service, an MX-Beacon for indoor tracking, and an MX-PowerEXT charging unit. After the first year, service costs $25 per month or $275 per year. Adiant Mobile says the bracelet and the first year of monitoring service are covered under Medicaid and many US health insurance plans.
Seniors with mild cognitive impairment and seniors who are prone to wandering – especially those who are still highly mobile – and who have caregivers or family members close by who can watch for and respond to alerts if there’s an SOS call, a fall detected, or a safe-zone exit notification.