Indianapolis state legislature has begun discussions as to whether or not they should use GPS tracking systems on adults with dementia and other mental diseases that cause them to wander. The topic was brought to question due to recently passed legislation that began the Silver Alert program which involves the public in finding missing endangered adults. If passed, the law would require for adults with diseases like dementia to wear the GPS devices to help ensure their safety.
According to Michael Sullivan, director of public policy and advocacy for the Alzheimer’s Association Greater Indiana chapter, “There was a lot of concern by state police and broadcasters about how often there would be a Silver Alert.” For this reason lawmakers are calling for a study to determine weather or not the GPS devices should be made mandatory. Stephen Smith, president of the Indiana Health Care Association, called the proposal “overkill.”
Both groups, however, are open to voluntary programs which would allow for families to sign themselves up for the GPS monitoring systems. Sullivan also suggested the Alzheimer’s Association Safe Return program as an alternative which includes identification items such as bracelets, necklaces, wallet cards and clothing labels. It is important to protect those with mental diseases, but with close to 100,000 Dementia and Alzheimer’s patients in Indianapolis, it is preposterous to believe that the people of the towns could handle this alone. GPS tracking would make it much easier to monitor these patients as well as to ensure their safety.
(Via Courier Journal)