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My Mom is stubborn and still insists that there is nothing wrong with her. Although we have taken over most of her major responsibilities, i.e. paying bills, driving, remembering appt., due her memory lost and confusion. All except one, her ability to go & walk where she pleases. Once she goes, we have no idea where she is. She's lost 3 cell phones, and we lose her in stores etc. It's becoming a nightmare.

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zwgail, forget having a tracker, if Mom is getting lost due to memory confusion, she probably isn't looking both ways when crossing the street. It's not like you are living in Mayberry where everyone knows everyone else. You live in a large metro area, so Mom could wander for miles.

And don't forget, if Mom wanders during the day time, she can also wander at night. It's like trying to control a small child.

Time for other measures to be put in place.
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zwgail Jan 2020
So far, Mom does come back home, therefore she doesn't except her diagnosis, so a tracker wouldn't work for her, she would never wear it. She walks the neighborhood stores. The doctor says this won't last and she can become confused at anytime. At present, she forgets where she is only in department stores for some reason & what items she went in to get, repeats everything and attributes all of this to just getting old, memory mixed up, dates, people etc.; she's 78 and physically fit.

So I know it's frightening for her, but her combativeness and stubbornness has made this difficult to manage at all. Although, she was like this before the dementia. But I do take note to what you're saying.

Thanks for replying.
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Since she's losing cell phones already, trackers in those wouldn't help, or only until she loses the cell phone.  Even if attached to her or something successfully, where might she wind up while walking where she pleases when she was finally tracked/found? 

I'd be afraid to leave her alone to do anything.  I get she's 'stubborn' and insistent, but, at this point, her loved ones are the best decision makers for her safety. 

Losing them in stores is very common, and doesn't get better (sorry).  Someone has to stay with them all the time (restroom, dressing room, etc.), much like with a child while not treating them like a child, of course.  We can't say 'I'll be over here,' or 'right back,' and leave them in a department, restroom, etc., and expect they'll stay there or come to where we said we'd be.  They usually don't remember and either wander off or panic; sometimes they get angry. 

Can you or someone walk with her?  and tell her to only walk with someone vs. alone, for her safety? 

If she's living alone, she really should not be. 
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zwgail Jan 2020
Thanks, you're right of course. This is just something that I never imagined.
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Does she have dementia? If she does that can be dangerous. Sounds like she has moderate dementia. Very dangerous if she starts the stove and forgets it's on. Puts things in the micro shes not supposed to starting a fire. Wanders away and gets stuck in a ditch, walks or trips into traffic, falls down stairs, follows other people till they have had enough. Decides to take something from their purse or tries to get in their car. Not just a wondering problem.
Have you heard of the elderly person wandering off with no coat until their found frozen to death 2 weeks later? I have happens every so often.

It's time for a family my friend. You cant prepare enough for her wandering off.
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Mary9999 Jan 2020
I totally agree with Jasmina's post. There are so many stories, mom's photo (or dad's, or grandma's or grandpa's) posted in the local newspaper and on-line, frantically seeking a family member who has dementia and who has wandered off. Many times by the time they are found they have suffered a life-threatening injury, or they have lost their life in a ditch, or on a highway, or a country road... and sometimes they are not found for quite a while. I know it's a difficult situation for you, zwgail, but she's not going to improve, it's just going to get worse, as dementia does. If she insists on going out, which it sounds like she does, a family member should accompany her no matter what she says. Please stop her going out alone, however you do it. I can't tell from your post whether she lives alone (I sure hope not!) or with you, but future plans need to be made for her. My heart aches for you and your family. I know we all wish you luck in handling this.
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No more cells.

Call ur local police department and see if they offer any type of monitoring. Ours does. About 10 yrs ago my GFs Dad had an ankle bracelet provided by the police. He too liked to walk. When he didn't return home, GFs Mom could have him tracked. In 10 yrs the technology is probably a lot better. If the police can't help, try the Office of Aging in your County. Maybe your cell phone carrier can help.
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Put a tracker button in her handbag. If she wears sneakers have a tracker implanted in the bottom of her sneaker. Tracker buttons can be purchased on Amazon. My son used them in his children’s sneakers when they were small. There had been several kidnappings in his area. Plus his little boy was a master at breaking lose in large stores.
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There is an affordable, easy to use product called “tile” which comes in a number of formats, and stays active for about a year. See:
www.thetileapp.com
The original format was a small flat square, typically used on a key ring, but also can be slipped in a pocket or tied to shoe laces. Now they also have credit card sized tiles.

they are usually paired with phones, but can be paired with your phone and your loved ones phone. Can help you find her phone, or her tile.

We have use them with children, as insurance when taking them out in a crowd.
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Bjwalters Jan 2020
I've used tile with my husband for several years. A few years ago the wandered away in Wildwood,NJ. I kept getting close but never found him. I. Contacted police. One officer was familiar with the time, he took my phone and found my husband in 10 minutes. Calmly sitting with another older gentleman complaining about their wives.
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I believe there is still an app called find my phone that can link up to her cell phone. That may be possible if you can manage to get into her phone for a little while
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Put a tracker in her shoes. BUT she should be stopped from wandering by any means! This is a dangerous situation!
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I use the one you can buy online or at Walmart - 5 Star-Great Call. You just wear the call button around your neck. No home base device and you can go online to see where the tracker is at any time. An alert button that has a base device at the house will usually limit how far the person can go. The 5Star works like a gps to track wherever they are. Recommended by aarp, too. Cheapest monthly service that I could find.
You complete the online log with info: If button is pushed, who will be called first, second, third, and so on. Medical info can be given etc.
We haven't had to use it for an emergency, thank the Lord, but mom has accidentally pushed the button and they speak to her immediately.
The only downside is you cannot replace batteries. The first unit lasted about 3 years and then we had to buy a new one. Well worth the money
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I use Itraq Nano, has a subscription, their location is on an app on your phone which you can share with others. However no device is perfect. This one needs recharging about every a 4 days depending on how often is tells you their location. It is not a GPS as good as a phone. The phones with GPS are not an option for us because a phone can be lost. And alert buttons to me are not good for dementia patients. I do not think my husband would know what to punch when. The Alzheimers watch might be a good option, has a GPS. Anything that they can take off or lose is not reliable. I clip the nano on this belt buckle and it slips into his watch pocket, If he wandered at night he would not have this device on. He wears a medical ID bracelet and never takes it off in the event he begins to wander or is lost.
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Medical id bracelet is a great idea!! Hadn’t thought of that for alz/dem patient..,,,
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