I know at least one person in Penang who is suffering from severe loss of memory in their old age. Decades ago, I would have just called it senility but now, I'm not too sure. Can it also be Alzheimer's? Difficult to say as a layman. This person I know - quite well too - has almost completely lost his short-term memory. He remembers events that happened a long time ago but in the midst of conversations, he will forget what was spoken just seconds ago. Yet, he still wants to go walking outdoors unaccompanied. It's a concern for the family, of course, but they cannot say no to his morning exercise.
So recently, I was very heartened to read this news item about shoes being outfitted with a GPS chip which may offer some peace of mind to Alzheimer's patients and their caregivers.
According to researchers at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Health, more than 26 million people worldwide live with Alzheimer's, and the figure is set to exceed 106 million by 2050.
When Alzheimer's patients become confused or disoriented, it's common for them to wander from their home and not be able to find their way back. Thus, the embedded GPS tracking system will allow the wearer of the shoe to be located instantly online and for their whereabouts to be monitored in real time. The shoes are likely to be available in 2010.
Read the full article here.