Alzheimer's: Forgetting Where You Are
Placing some sort of GPS tracking device on patients may seem like a civil rights lawsuit in the works - as is sometimes the case - but it has also proven incredibly useful for knowing the whereabouts of patients who are likely to attempt to go missing, escape, wander off and not receive the care they require.
The most well-known instance of this is of those suffering from Alzheimer's disease. Victims slowly become more and more confused and forgetful as to the time and place in which they exist, leading to the certain tendency to wander about and get themselves thoroughly lost and incapable of returning home.
GPS to the rescue. With a simple bracelet, the whereabouts of an Alzheimer's patient can be tracked in case of such an incident. There are a number of other companies that sell GPS devices to this end, such as Digital Angel. Most of them are programmed with a predesignated area. If the patient leaves, the device may point them in the correct direction, much like a digital compass, and/or alert family members as to their exact whereabouts, enabling a quick and timely recovery.
Of course, such options are still a bit on the pricey side, and taking such an ethically complex step as tracking someone's whereabouts at all time is a controversial one that should be discussed at length with everyone involved, doctor, family and patient.