Feeds

UK charity backs tags for dementia sufferers

Keeping tabs on granny

Seven Steps to Software Security

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 Power of One Infographic

More from The Register

next story
You! Pirate! Stop pirating, or we shall admonish you politely. Repeatedly, if necessary
And we shall go about telling people you smell. No, not really
UK Parliament rubber-stamps EMERGENCY data grab 'n' keep bill
Just 49 MPs oppose Drip's rushed timetable
MPs wave through Blighty's 'EMERGENCY' surveillance laws
Only 49 politcos voted against DRIP bill
EU's top data cops to meet Google, Microsoft et al over 'right to be forgotten'
Plan to hammer out 'coherent' guidelines. Good luck chaps!
US judge: YES, cops or feds so can slurp an ENTIRE Gmail account
Crooks don't have folders labelled 'drug records', opines NY beak
Delaware pair nabbed for getting saucy atop Mexican eatery
Burrito meets soft taco in alleged rooftop romp outrage
LightSquared backer sues FCC over spectrum shindy
Why, we might as well have been buying AIR
'Two-speed internet' storm turns FCC.gov into zero-speed website
Deadline for comments on net neutrality shake-up extended to Friday
prev story

Whitepapers

Reducing security risks from open source software
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
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.
Application security programs and practises
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Consolidation: the foundation for IT and business transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.