There is a new topic that seems to be polarizing dementia caregivers and it is the idea of using "electronic tagging" as a safety device for persons with dementia.
The Alzheimer's Society in UK is the group that recently published articles on the new electronic tagging technology such as global positioning devices, which allows caregivers to track a person with dementia and return the person to safety if needed. They say that using these devices is a balance between "...empowering people and restricting their movement." In the UK, they are calling the use of the electronic tags "safer walking technology" and one of the companies who is manufacturing the items has been endorsed by the National Health System. The device is attached to the clothing or carried by the person with dementia and if the person becomes lost, they can be tracked via satellite technology.
In the US, many facilities have been using something similiar to this for years as a further safeguard for clients with dementia. Over in the UK, the suggestion of the use of this technology is causing controversy ranging from civil liberty issues to demonstrating a stigma for dementia. The Alzheimer's Society in the UK has posted a talking points board for the public to give their thoughts on this new technology.
So what is your opinion on this subject? Should persons with dementia, whether at home or in a facility, be equipped with a small device that would allow for tracking safety if the person wandered away?