Global Positioning System technologies (or GPS) can be useful when navigating the streets of an unknown city or finding a route that bypasses traffic. By understanding the possibilities of GPS and other uses of this technology, our day to day lives can be enriched.

Utilizing this technology can help assist family caregivers as well. While this technology is not a substitute for in-person supervision, newly developed GPS tracking shoes can help locate individuals who, for example, may have wandering tendencies due to Alzheimer’s, dementia, or other cognitive disabilities. Oftentimes, individuals who are wanderers with a cognitive disability are difficult to locate due to illogical and hard-to-trace walking patterns and an inability to effectively communicate with others who may find them.

GPS technology has improved and the technology has now expanded to include shoes with GPS capabilities. These shoes contain a GPS chip hidden in the shoe that reports the location of the individual to aid in finding a loved one who has wandered; information that can be invaluable in case of an emergency situation.

As GPS and other technologies improve, options that help assist and aid those who are caring for an older family member will only become more numerous and affordable. Being a caregiver can be overwhelming. Peace of mind and preparation for what could happen may help alleviate some stress and difficulties. Continuing to explore what value technology can bring allows for growth and an expansion of options as our population ages. Understanding what options are available is often the first step to help seniors age well at home.

If you have any questions on what products, services, and programs may be available to older adults, call Council on Aging Silicon Valley at (408) 350-3200