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The problem of wandering is getting more attention as autism diagnoses increase and the number of people living with Alzheimer’s disease and dementia continues to grow, said experts.
Lori McIlwain, executive director of the National Autism Association, is trying to get insurance companies to cover personal tracking devices. Children with autism who wander, she said, are drawn to water for the rhythmic sound or the enveloping feeling of being in the water. Drowning is a leading cause of death in people with autism.
“Wandering is a medical issue, not a mental issue,” she said.
GPS device geo-fencing applications let caregivers set a perimeter that a potential wanderer within which a person can freely move about. Once the person leaves that perimeter, a text message alerts the caregiver and maps their movements to track their bearing, speed and possible historic pathway
Many autism and Alzheimer’s victims are being cared for by a spouse, however studies have shown that “fear of wandering” is the among the largest stress factors for caregivers during these stages of the disease. It’s an issue for the community because they would like the resident to remain in the setting where they are happiest, have friends, and can otherwise function, but would like to have options for addressing the issue of wandering.
GTX Corp invented and holds the patent on GPS Shoes. Aetrex Worldwide manufactures and distributes the shoes. They retail the shoes for $299, with a $35-40/month monitoring fee. http://www.navistargpsshoe.com Additional information about the shoes, including the tracking technology, shoe styles/colors and sizes can also be found on the site.
The value proposition of the Aetrex GPS Navistar Shoes goes well beyond precisely identifying the longitude and latitude of the wearer in-a-minute, or that you get a pair of shoes with real time locates to your smart phone. The real value of the Aetrex Navistars and Patrick Bertagna’s brilliant invention for the GTX Corp is the retention of personal sovereignty.
The GPS enabled shoe affords the patient and the care-givers the knowledge needed to determine lifestyle options which deliver a significantly better quality of life for all concerned –one can retain some sovereignty – Despite the loss of oneself amid the growing frequency of wandering, agitation, psychosis, delirium, restlessness, and depression events be it Alzheimer’s or Autism or one of the other dozen dementias that affect us.
We need to know, remember and respect the person they were and are despite their current detachment from reality; “sometimes I’m me and sometimes I don’t know who I am… It comes and it goes.”
Memory is a problem for the afflicted. Remembering however, should not be a problem for the cogent as we ourselves most likely will be walking in those same shoes one day.
A profound impact on memory making every day functioning and recognition of faces and voices impossible – A lethargy, passivity, and loss of energy – A loss of intellect and an inability to concentrate, sequence and complete tasks coupled with a lack of comprehension which profoundly impacts everyday life – A sensory overload with sufferers having difficulty processing sensory information such that they withdraw from social contact, prefer being on their own and avoid eye contact – A catatonic state, with blank, emotionless expressions, and flat or monotone speech and a lack of comprehension of others feelings and/or meaning – Usually an ability to read, but not to understand what is read – Common physical markers include: poorly controlled insulin levels, sensitivity to gluten and/or casein, low levels of essential fatty acids, specific brain abnormalities, abnormal mineral and neurotransmitter levels, elevated homocysteine, characteristic immune system abnormalities, low glutathione levels, vitamin B and E deficiencies, etc. – Difficulties with balance and gait, poor coordination, restless constant movement, ‘flapping’ and grimacing – A stubborn attachment to routines and repetitive behaviors and odd and/or inappropriate behaviors — No understanding of orientation in time or space, indeed little comprehension of ‘self’ and ‘non-self – Changes in appetite and usually weight loss — Disrupted sleep — Aggression, agitation, hyperactivity, anxiety, fears, depression, mood swings, rages, and unprovoked and uncontrollable crying/laughter – Digestive system problems with ultimate loss of continence. — And one more…
Victims of both diseases wander or bolt from familiar surroundings becoming lost and requiring retrieval if they are to survive. If not found within hours of their disappearance more than half of the afflicted will surrender to the elements.
While there is no solution for either disease, there is a solution for wandering. GTX Corp, working with Aetrex Worldwide has developed the first GPS enabled walking shoe affording care givers in-a-minute alerts and real-time locates of wandering victims that are wearing the “Navigators.” The $300 cost for the shoes and monthly subscription fee is minimal when compared to the deadly potential of wandering.
About 1 in 88 children has been identified with an autism spectrum disorder (ASD) according to estimates from CDC’s Autism and Developmental Disabilities Monitoring (ADDM) Network.
The wandering and elopement survey found that approximately half of parents of children with autism report that their child elopes. Among these families, nearly 50% say that their child went missing long enough to cause significant concern about safety. The tendency of individuals with ASD to wander or “bolt” puts them at risk of trauma, injury or even death. More than one third of children who elope are never or rarely able to communicate their name, address, or phone number verbally or by writing/typing. Two in three parents report their missing children had a “close call” with a traffic injury. On average, medical expenditures for individuals with an ASD were 4.1–6.2 times greater than for those without an ASD.
Wandering was ranked among the most stressful ASD behaviors by 58% of parents of eloping autistics. A new technology from GTX Corp can help parents and caregivers track the whereabouts of their kids and ensure they are safe. This new technology is provided in partnership with the Talk About Curing Autism (TACA). The multi-patented GPS technology platform will also soon serve as the foundation for products designed to help the millions of families affected by autism, as a result of the new partnership between GTX Corp and Talk About Curing Autism (TACA).
The autism community uses many terms to describe the fact that children and dependent adults with ASD depart safe spaces to put themselves in harm’s way.
A mother might say her son “is a runner” or that he “bolts” when they are in public places. A father might say his daughter “wanders” or “elopes.” It’s difficult to name the behavior because we know so little about it. Is it aimless, or are these individuals trying to reach a place or person? Is it motivated by fear, sensory-sensitivity, boredom, or curiosity? Is the person who wanders scared, joyful, or in a fog? How many individuals with ASD engage in this behavior, and to what lengths are families going to keep them safe? Until now, there were few evidence-based answers to such questions.
Of children with ASD who attempted to elope, nearly half actually succeeded and were missing long enough to cause parents significant concern about their safety. The situations were serious enough that 32% of parents in this situation called the police. Furthermore, two out of three reported their wandering child had a “close call” with traffic injury, and almost a third reported a “close call” with drowning.
Children with ASD have many behaviors that families find incredibly stressful, including self-injury, rigidity, aggression, and meltdowns. How did those whose children engaged in elopement behavior compare the stress involved to that caused by other challenging behaviors? More than half (57%) reported that elopement was the most, or among the most, stressful of ASD behaviors. Fear that a child would escape their home during the night disrupted sleep for more than 40% of these families. Likewise, fear of elopement kept 62% of such families from attending or enjoying activities outside the home, increasing social isolation.
GTX Corp (OTCBB: GTXO), the leader in customizable, 2-way GPS location based tracking solutions has been granted another utility patent, adding to the company’s growing IP portfolio that includes 11 issued patents, 5 patents pending and 34 U.S. and 28 foreign patents under its license. The multi-patented GPS technology platform will also soon serve as the foundation for products designed to help the millions of families affected by autism, as a result of a new partnership between GTX Corp and Talk About Curing Autism (TACA).
“With our award winning multi-patented GPS Smart Shoe and patent-pending Alertag we have been at the forefront of connected health for years, providing new levels of functional oversight, security and peace of mind to a variety of audiences and needs,” commented Patrick Bertagna, CEO of GTX Corp. “We look forward to developing and bringing to market new, innovative products that both satisfy the ever-increasing consumer demand for location based solutions and that will help support the families challenged with a special needs child.”
The idea of a device that would give us geo-directional information dates back to 200BC. Although sailors and tradesmen used stones and magnetized needles to make their way, it took a few thousand years for our technology to advance to a point where the hand compass had been patented making a portable location device possible.
Two hundred years later, Dr. Ivan Getting, Professor Bradford Parkinson, and Roger L. Easton are attributed with the invention of GPS (Global Positioning System) — an advanced, multi-dimensional tracking system that sees everything, everywhere, all the time. By 1994 GPS was being used by the US military to detect sea, land, and air objects using bi-directional digital components to communicate with the satellites to ascribe time, speed, and location data to the request.
In less than a decade what was once the proprietary property of the Department of Defense became a hand held application that anyone could use to find people, anywhere, anytime in fewer than 70 heartbeats. Why heartbeats – because that is all that may separate finding a wandering Alzheimer’s victim from being victimized, injured or succumbing to the elements.
While there are nearly 6 million victims of the disease, there are double those numbers of caregivers who are pathologically stressed by the probability that 3 million or more of the afflicted will wander at any moment and need to found.
The innovation of the GPS (Navistar) shoe by GTX Corp and its manufacture by Aetrex Worldwide now provide a practical and affordable solution for the caregiver and the victim assuring them both peace of mind. If one could place a price on peace of mind, then the $300 cost and monthly fee for the shoe would be a small price to pay. Given that the shoe’s location assurance comes with a great pair of walking shoes, it might even be seen as a bargain.
An estimated 4.5 to 5 million Americans have Alzheimer´s nearly 60% wander. That number is more than double what is was 1980. 1 in 10 Americans currently acknowledge they have a member of the family with Alzheimer´s and for every one afflicted, there are more than two people providing unpaid care 24 hours a day. This is just the beginning. As we live longer with an older population, more of us will be around with the disease creating problems for those who must care and protect us. Finding a wanderer quickly is a life and death race.
Alzheimer’s wandering tracking devices provide an essential service for both in-home and nursing home caregivers alike. The chances of finding a wanderer in a short period of time becomes very small without a real-time gps tracking device. And while there are numerous providers of wanderer tracking devices; Keruve, InTouch, Comfort Zone, UBI-5000E, EMSeeQ, S-911 Lola, eCare+Voice, WanderTrack, Silver Cloud, Lifetracker and projectlifesaver – one device clearly stands out as the best and most practical.
The GPS Shoe developed by GTX Corp and manufactured by internationally respected Aetrex Worldwide has very distinct advantages. As a shoe it is worn by the patient and rarely if everremoved by them. It is a real-time 2-way solution that identifies location, bearing, speed and histories. The secure GUI portal interface is both simple and accurate to use. The shoe’s battery life can be adjusted depending on the individual and their history. It is discreet providing a level of privacy while affording constant location access.
Alzheimer’s wanderer’s go until they get stuck.
They will not leave many verifiable clues.
The afflicted have a previous history of wandering (72%)
They appear to lack ability to reverse direction.
The demented are oriented to the past, the degree of the disease sends them back in time
Coexisting medical problems that limit mobility are common.
The wanderer may attempt to travel to a former residence or favorite place.
Alzheimer’s may cross or depart from roads (67%) but are usually (89%) found
within one mile of home and half found within one-half miles.
Victims are typically found a short distance from road (50% within 33 yards)
They will not cry-out for help (1%) or respond to shouts (only 1% response rate).
Victims will succumb to the environment (hypothermia, drowning, and dehydration).
Given the behavioral profile of an Alzheimer’s victim that wanders, GPS tracking shoes provide the best solution for early notification of wandering, real time subject tracking, and ease of application use.
The Mayo Clinic describes Alzheimer’s and the problem of Wandering: The disease can erase a person’s memory of once-familiar surroundings, as well as make it extremely difficult to adapt to new surroundings. As a result, people who have Alzheimer’s may wander away from their homes or care centers and turn up lost, frightened and disoriented — sometimes far from where they started.
“Wandering is a behavior that happens mainly as a result of declining cognitive skills,” says Beth Kallmyer, director of family and information services at the Alzheimer’s Association in Chicago. “The loss of memory impacts their ability to discern where they are.”
Today, more than 5 million Americans suffer from Alzheimer’s disease. That number is expected to grow to 20 million in the coming years, according to Andrew Carle at George Mason University.
More than 60 percent of people who have Alzheimer’s wander at some point, according to the Alzheimer’s Association. Often, someone who’s wandering is: searching for something, escaping from something or reliving a past event. This can and does happen often. And it stresses the care giver as much if not more than the afflicted.
While there is no solution to Alzheimer’s or wandering, there is a GPS Tracking device embedded discretely in a walking shoe that will enable care givers to locate a wanderer within a minute, know the direction they are moving and at what speed – walking or in a vehicle.