GPS tracker on a phone

GPS Trackers for the Elderly

GPS trackers are a great tool for ensuring an elderly loved one’s security. This is often one of the major challenges of being a caregiver. Knowing that those we care for are safe and secure is extremely important. This is where GPS trackers come in handy.

As a caregiver, you might fear that your senior may wander outside of their home and get lost or injured. GPS trackers can monitor the movements of individuals and send alerts if there is an issue. These alerts can be sent in many different ways such as through email, text message, or other online means.

In the article below you will become familiar with the different types and features of GPS trackers for the elderly, and see what options are out there for you to purchase. The following five products are some of the best available to caregivers. All of them have advantages and disadvantages. Hopefully, this will give you a better sense of the option that best fits your needs.

Differences and Similarities of GPS Trackers

GPS trackers come in many different forms. Some can be bracelets, some are watches or devices that fit into clothing and shoes, others can be carried on a key chain. Some GPS trackers are wearable and others come as mobile apps.

All GPS trackers for the elderly are designed to monitor an individual’s location and connect them to the caregiver.

Though not every GPS tracker has the following features, they are common for most products:

  • Collect data and provide targeted monitoring,
  • Can notify caregivers if the senior leaves their home or other designated areas,
  • Connect with the appropriate emergency responders,
  • If seniors are lost, the tracker will guide them to their desired location.

Key disadvantages of most GPS trackers:

  • Require the senior to wear or carry the device/phone at all times,
  • Need to be properly charged and powered,
  • Multiple users must actively monitor the tool.

How Do I Choose the Best Fit?

No matter what format of a GPS tracker you go for, there are five major factors to consider.

Size

Unsurprisingly, the size of a GPS tracker is one of the most important aspects. Some trackers on the market are not compact and users cannot move them from one location to the other. Since your main goal is to monitor your senior’s route throughout the day, the tracker you purchase should be small enough to be carried around.

Ease of use

Due to their old age, seniors can have a hard time with memory and learning new skills. It’s important that the system you choose for them has a user-friendly interface that they can interact with without getting confused.

Distress button

For many caregivers, this feature will be essential. The SOS button will enable users to report an emergency if necessary. Make sure to choose a product that has an SOS button that is easy to access.

Smart alerts

As your GPS tracker monitors the senior’s movements, it may also be useful to have it communicate with the caregiver. Purchase a device that can send you alerts, inform you if the senior has exited a safe zone, changed their location or is in danger.

Battery life

Battery life is another aspect of the device that can affect the tracking process. Since seniors may not remember to charge the GPS, caregivers might be more inclined to go for products that have low battery alerts. These alerts can notify users when the device needs charging. It’s also important to find devices that last longer and will track seniors for extended periods of time without turning off.  

Other Questions to Consider

After you have considered these aspects of the GPS tracking devices, there are a couple of questions you might way to pose to yourself before you purchase anything.

  1. What type of device is best for you and the senior you are taking care of? For example, depending on your unique situation, you may need a wearable tracker or a device that can monitor the patient’s car.
  2. Will your loved one remember to wear the device? Some seniors disagree with the practice of tracking them, especially during earlier years. Others will welcome the idea of security and knowing that they can reach out for help in an emergency. It’s important to have a chat with your loved one and see how they feel about tracking.   
  3. What features do you require? Trackers can provide a myriad of different services so it’s important to decide what is absolutely vital to you before purchasing one. Whether it’s geofencing, SOS buttons, two-way calling, or voice monitoring, make sure the device you choose will work for you.
  4. Are there additional fees? Some trackers have a monthly fee and others have a one-time cost only. It’s important that you read up on this before purchasing.

Best GPS Trackers

Yepzon Freedom 3G GPS Tracker

Features:

  • SOS button,
  • Attaches to key chains,
  • Multiple user and battery modes,
  • Users have to pair it with Yepzon App,
  • Provides U.S. based customer support.

Pros:

  • Easy to carry around,
  • Has a choice of modes,
  • Does not collect personal data,
  • Does not require an account or login information,
  • Users can share the tracking information with several others,
  • No activation or cancellation fees.

Cons:

  • No voice command or microphone input for audio,
  • Monthly subscription starting at $4.99/month,

Summary:

If you’re looking for a compact, easy-to-use device that your loved one can carry around on their key-chain, the Freedom GPS Tracker can be the ideal option for you. The supporting app not only allows you to monitor the GPS location of the senior but also their address, altitude, distance from address, and the speed if the senior is moving.

The device costs $49.00 and requires a monthly subscription fee.

AngelSense Personal GPS Tracker

Features:

  • Continuous all-day monitoring,
  • Advanced Safeguard GPS,
  • Assistive speakerphone,
  • SOS call button,
  • Intelligent alerts
  • Emergency search tools,
  • Soft wearable sleeve,
  • Non-removable fasteners,
  • Live U.S. customer care assistance,
  • Easy-to-use app.

Pros:

  • Accurate location tracking,
  • Ability to speak with the user,
  • Unlimited live tracking,
  • Customizable Geofence safe places,
  • Detailed location and transit history,
  • Auto learns the daily routine,
  • Can activate a search and rescue team.

Cons:

  • Requires a monthly subscription of $39.99,
  • Bulkier design.

Summary:

AngelSense Personal GPS Tracker can be the best option for those who are caregivers to elderly that tend to wander. You’ll be able to find the senior within minutes, call them, let them know you are on your way, and so on. Other family members or loved ones can also have temporary access to the app if necessary. The device itself costs $69.00.

GTX SmartSole Shoe Insert Tracker

Features:

  • GPS tracker is hidden and sealed.
  • The trimmable shoe insert is water-resistant,
  • Requires 2G cellular coverage,
  • Updates the person’s location every 5 minutes,
  • Uses the GTC Corp monitoring system with text and email alerts,
  • Provides users with an online account and a SmartLocator app.

Pros:

  • Discreet,
  • Easy to remember.

Cons:

  • Coverage only available in about 50% of the country,
  • Requires a service plan.

Summary:

This GTX SmartSole Shoe Insert Tracker is a sealed GPS tracker inside a shoe insert that is water-resistant and can be trimmed according to the person’s shoe-size and shape. It can be ideal for those who worry about their loved one forgetting a larger device that they have to actively carry around. The insert is $299, plus a data plan which starts at $15 a month.

KKBEAR 3G GPS Watch

Features:

  • 3G GPS smartwatch tracker,
  • Multiple call modes,
  • Do not disturb mode,
  • Low battery reminder function,
  • Voice chat option,
  • Can take images.

Pros:

  • Allows for a choice between different call modes,
  • 2-way communication for increased security,
  • Helps with user privacy.

Cons:

  • Superfluous features,
  • Small screen and keyboard.

Summary:

The major drawback of the KKBEAR 3G GPS watch is that it has so many features and may be too complicated for elderly users. Though the two-way communication system and clever alerts are great aspects of the watch and it is also easy to wear throughout the day.  

Invisawear’s Silver Expandable Bracelet

Features:

  • Sends a text message with GPS location to five chosen people,
  • Bluetooth low energy,
  • The free app that allows location sharing with emergency dispatchers,
  • One-year battery life

Pros:

  • More discreet,
  • No charging necessary for one year,
  • No monthly fees.

Cons:

  • No voice communication feature,
  • No constant tracking,
  • Battery replacement costs $65 after one year.

Summary:

Finally, for those seniors who do not require constant tracking and wish to be more discreet with their security devices, this InvisaWear bracelet can be the perfect fit. It’s stylish and still allows seniors to alert their chosen loved ones and caregivers in case of an emergency.  

Conclusion

When your loved one’s safety is at stake, GPS trackers can contribute greatly to your peace of mind. Determining the best GPS tool can seem difficult, but hopefully, this article can come in handy. Remember to consider your situation and needs before making the purchase and make sure that whatever product you choose, it works for you and your loved ones.

Sources:

  1. 5 Best GPS Tracking Watches For The Elderly, This Caring Home, thiscaringhome.org

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