Smart Devices Available in Singapore
Many persons living with dementia feel the urge to walk about and in some cases leave their homes. Though this walking is sometimes termed as “wandering”, it is rarely ever aimless. Persons with dementia may simply not remember where they had set out to go, or what they had intended to do.
Wandering becomes a cause of concern when persons living with dementia encounter dangerous situations while wandering about the neighbourhood. For example, they often experience problems with orientation, which causes difficulties in finding their way back home. When the person with dementia is away from home for an unusually long time, or if the caregiver is unable to locate him/her, then wandering becomes a problem.
Another reason for concern is that there is a significant number of older persons living with dementia, whose primary caregivers are also seniors. For example, primary caregivers could be a spouse who is likely to be close in age. Seniors may be more vulnerable due to age-related reasons, such as an increased proneness to falls and fall-related injuries.
To address these issues, smart devices have been invented to improve the lives of persons living with dementia and seniors by allowing caregivers to keep an eye on their loved ones when they are out and about, and to help ensure their safety. Some of these devices include personal GPS trackers and personal alert buttons:
• Personal GPS trackers can alert caregivers once the user leaves pre-set safe zones (for e.g., home), and track the user’s locations and movements in real time.
• When an older person falls, he/she may be alone or unable to shout for help. The situation can be worse if it is the caregiver who falls and no one else is taking care of the person with dementia. Personal alert buttons thus allow the user to quickly inform other family members (children and/or relatives) or care professionals when such emergency situations occur, by pressing an ‘SOS’ button.
There has been a growing number of devices that build in both of these features, allowing the user’s live location and movements to be tracked, and allowing him/her to press a ‘SOS’ or panic button to call for help during emergency situations (e.g after a fall).
The table below lists down the personal GPS trackers and alert buttons that are available in Singapore.
Note: This list is not exhaustive or an endorsement of products. Information is accurate as of 5 September 2021. Please contact the respective sellers for more information.
Wearable Personal GPS Tracker
Vendor/ Distributor: Tack GPS
Feature(s): Tack GPS offers a tiny and lightweight personal GPS tracker, which is highly recommended for persons living with dementia and seniors. This device uses multiple smart sensors and technologies to locate individuals, even when they are in the buildings.
Price Range(s) (with GST): USD$79
Contact: Visit Tack GPS.
Vendor/ Distributor: OMG Solutions
Feature(s): OMG Solutions supplies a wide range of technological solutions, including:
1. Wearable Personal GPS Tracker & Alert Button
2. Fall Prevention & Emergency/Distress Alarms
3. Security Cameras
Price Range(s) (with GST): Most of the devices and technologies cost over SGD$100.
Contact: Visit OMG Solutions.
Vendor/ Distributor: Available at popular eCommerce sites. E.g. Qoo10, Lazada, Shopee, Amazon, Ebay
Feature(s): Wearable products ranging from pendants, watches, keychains, armbands etc. Wearables will be tracked using a mobile app or website.
Price Range(s) (with GST): Prices can range from around $40 to $220 according to build quality, range distance, battery life and technical support etc.
Contact: Search for “personal GPS tracker” on the eCommerce sites.
Vendor/ Distributor: Mobile phone apps.
Feature(s): There are several mobile phone apps that allow users to share their live location with others and is updated in real time as the user moves. Some examples include:
• Life360: Family Locator & GPS Tracker
• Family Locator – GPS Tracker & Find Your Phone App
Even many widely-used messaging apps, like Whatsapp, Telegram etc., comprise this feature. However, this may drain the battery life of the user’s mobile phone quickly.
Price Range(s) (with GST): Some apps are free.
Contact: Search for “personal GPS tracker” on App Store or Google Play.
There are many devices out there you can choose from, so do consider these factors before you decide to purchase one that suits your needs:
• Monthly fees: Many GPS trackers use cellular technology to pinpoint the user’s location and share this location information with his/her family. Thus, you will need to sign up for a monthly mobile plan for the tracking device at the same time. There are devices where monthly fees are not required, but they may be more limited in their tracking capabilities.
• GPS trackers’ capabilities – tracker connection range and battery life: The more expensive devices offer wider tracker connection range and longer battery life.
• Conspicuousness: If an inconspicuous device is preferred, you may want to choose a device that can be worn as a necklace, watch, or bracelet.
Assistive Equipment and Home Healthcare Items Available in Singapore
As mentioned in the articles under Changes in Care Needs as Dementia Progresses, persons living with dementia will require increasingly more assistance in their activities of daily living as their condition progresses. There are several types of equipment available that aid caregivers in supporting persons living with dementia, such as mobility aids (i.e., walkers, wheelchairs, etc.), and toilet and shower aids (portable commodes, grab bars, etc.)
The table below lists down some enterprises in Singapore which sell assistive equipment. This list is not exhaustive. This Dementia Portal disclaims any financial interest in any of these enterprises. Information is accurate as of 27 March 2021. Please contact the respective companies for more information about their products.
Some of these enterprises offer online shopping where you can purchase the items and products online and have them delivered right to your doorstep.
Click on the name of the company to be re-directed to its website. Alternatively, you could call the company with the numbers listed to the right of their names: