Feeds

UK charity backs tags for dementia sufferers

Keeping tabs on granny

Build a business case: developing custom apps

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". ®

The Essential Guide to IT Transformation

More from The Register

next story
Just TWO climate committee MPs contradict IPCC: The two with SCIENCE degrees
'Greenhouse effect is real, but as for the rest of it ...'
Adam Afriyie MP: Smart meters are NOT so smart
Mega-costly gas 'n' 'leccy totting-up tech not worth it - Tory MP
'Blow it up': Plods pop round for chat with Commonwealth Games tweeter
You'd better not be talking about the council's housing plans
Arrr: Freetard-bothering Digital Economy Act tied up, thrown in the hold
Ministry of Fun confirms: Yes, we're busy doing nothing
ONE EMAIL costs mining company $300 MEEELION
Environmental activist walks free after hoax sent share price over a cliff
Help yourself to anyone's photos FOR FREE, suggests UK.gov
Copyright law reforms will keep m'learned friends busy
Apple smacked with privacy sueball over Location Services
Class action launched on behalf of 100 million iPhone owners
UK government officially adopts Open Document Format
Microsoft insurgency fails, earns snarky remark from UK digital services head
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
The Essential Guide to IT Transformation
ServiceNow discusses three IT transformations that can help CIO's automate IT services to transform IT and the enterprise.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
How modern custom applications can spur business growth
Learn how to create, deploy and manage custom applications without consuming or expanding the need for scarce, expensive IT resources.
Build a business case: developing custom apps
Learn how to maximize the value of custom applications by accelerating and simplifying their development.