Maintaining the quality of life into our golden years should not be a privilege, but a basic necessity that all should have access to. There are around 50 million people in the world with dementia, and 6 out of 10 of them are at risk of getting lost. To negate this, the Ministry for Senior Citizens & Active Ageing is subsidising a gadget that provides people with dementia the right to achieve the highest quality of life with the least restrictions placed on their personal liberties.
Telecare on the move
The gadget in question promotes independence for those with dementia but also provides peace of mind for their loved ones, for a variety of reasons. The device comes with a sim card as you’d find in a normal phone and is connected to a 24-hour call centre as well as close relatives. It’s got a maximum 10-day battery life and works across Malta and Gozo.
The device has only one button, with SOS engraved into it. Once pressed, it will put the owner in touch with the contacts mentioned above, and will work like a normal telephone, as it’s equipped with a speaker and microphone. There’s also another benefit located within the device.
Putting you on the map
It comes with a GPS chip, meaning the device is trackable. There’s an online portal linked to the device which relatives can log onto and check the data of where the person was or currently is. But, there’s another feature that comes with the GPS tracker, called geo-fencing.
What this does is create a perimeter, which can be done through the above-mentioned portal. Relatives can create an area in a particular location displayed on a map of where they’d want the device owner to stick to for their own safety.
For example, if the person with dementia lives in a particular village, the area marked out can encapsulate the limits of that village, and should the wearer move beyond the limits set, then the device will send an alert to the relatives, notifying them of any unexpected changes in location. The area can be as small as a couple of streets, or as large as the entire town.
The device also has a fall-detection system, where if the wearer falls, the device will recognise that they’ve not gotten up from the fall, it will send a notification to both relatives as well as the 24/7 call centre for assistance.
Since these devices will ensure a better quality of life, they’re being subsidised by the government, provided certain terms and conditions are met. The device will be given to senior citizens over 60 years of age who are diagnosed with dementia and are at risk of wandering behaviours.
Further to that, in terms of documentation, a filled application form, a medical report signed by a General Practitioner and a copy of a valid Pink Form issued by the Department of Social Security, if available, are required. With the Pink Form, the device will be given for free, following an assessment by the Dementia Intervention Team.
Do you know of someone who needs this device?