Feeds

UK charity backs tags for dementia sufferers

Keeping tabs on granny

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

The UK's Alzheimer's Society has backed the electronic tagging of dementia sufferers to "empower patients by allowing them to wander", the Telegraph reports.

The charity says that many of Britain's 700,000 victims of dementia "feel compelled" to go walkabout - 60 per cent "may wander" and 40 per cent "have got lost at some point", it claims. The ability to track them would allow them the freedom to "roam around their communities" without causing their families unnecessary worry, according to science minister Malcolm Wicks.

Wicks first made the proposal back in April, when he said: "Let's use satellites and satellite technology to tackle some real important social issues that worry many families." He mooted two possible alternatives: RFID tagging which would trigger an alarm if the wearer wandered out of range of a base station; or full-blown GPS tracking.

Neil Hunt, the Alzheimer's Society's chief exec has agreed the tech "could offer benefits to people with dementia and their carers". He did, however, stress: "There is a careful balance to strike between empowering people and restricting their movement and this technology can certainly never be used as an alternative for high quality dementia care."

Dr Richard Nicholson, editor of the Bulletin of Medical Ethics, highlighted the potential for misuse of tracking, telling Radio 5 Live: "The problem with this is that you could see second-class care - using it as a way of making life easier for carers rather than as a way of making life safer or more pleasant for the person with Alzheimer's."

He described the proposal as "not something that ought to go ahead without parliamentary debate and possibly even legislation".

The Alzheimer's Society concluded that "decisions about whether to use a tracking device should be made in conjunction with the person with the disease in the earlier stages of dementia". ®

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

More from The Register

next story
Bono apologises for iTunes album dump
Megalomania, generosity and FEAR of irrelevance drove group to Apple deal
Facebook, Apple: LADIES! Why not FREEZE your EGGS? It's on the company!
No biological clockwatching when you work in Silicon Valley
Arab States make play for greater government control of the internet
Nerds told to get lost in last-minute power grab bid at UN meeting
Apple SILENCES Bose, YANKS headphones from stores
The, er, Beats go on after noise-cancelling spat
Doctor Who's Flatline: Cool monsters, yes, but utterly limp subplots
We know what the Doctor does, stop going on about it already
Zippy one-liners, broken promises: Doctor Who on the Orient Express
Series finally hits stride, but Clara's U-turn is baffling
Don't bother telling people if you lose their data, say Euro bods
You read that right – with the proviso that it's encrypted
America's super-secret X-37B plane returns to Earth after nearly TWO YEARS aloft
674 days in space for US Air Force's mystery orbital vehicle
10 Top Tips For PRs Considering Whether To Phone The Register
You'll Read These And LOL Even Though They're Serious
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Win a year’s supply of chocolate
There is no techie angle to this competition so we're not going to pretend there is, but everyone loves chocolate so who cares.
Why cloud backup?
Combining the latest advancements in disk-based backup with secure, integrated, cloud technologies offer organizations fast and assured recovery of their critical enterprise data.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Saudi Petroleum chooses Tegile storage solution
A storage solution that addresses company growth and performance for business-critical applications of caseware archive and search along with other key operational systems.