Most product reviews I do are pretty straightforward, we either like it, or we don’t. I typically review products that are game-changers, new to market, or have been doing it right all along that they deserve to be mentioned. I decided to review SafeWander without even testing it yet, it’s still in beta, but it’s a game-changer. It might also make you cry. I’ll wait while you go grab your tissues…… ok, ready?
Alzheimer’s Disease is the 6th leading cause of death in the U.S.
Alzheimer’s disease affects 5.2 million patients in the U.S. alone, 65% of them also wander. -Alz.org
Fifteen year old Kenneth Shinozuka lives in a multi-generational home in New York City that includes his grandfather who has Alzheimer’s disease. After several frightening incidents when his grandfather wandered out of the family home in the middle of the night, Kenneth decided it was time for him to solve this problem. He wanted to create a simple solution that could detect wandering. Out of the concern for his grandfather and his aunt who was his primary caregiver, SafeWander was born.
SafeWander: Instant Alerts for Wander-Detection
SafeWander is a flexible pressure sensor that is worn on the heel or in a sock. In addition to creating the sensor, Kenneth then added a wireless signal to the sensor and created a smartphone app to alert a caregiver to the user activating the sensor. Since his grandfather’s wandering was happening at night, the sensor works perfectly to alert the caregiver when his grandfather steps out of bed. I presume the same would apply to someone getting up out of a chair. SafeWander has caught 100% of his grandfather’s wandering and has brought peace of mind to his family.
Did you grab the tissue? See Kenneth talk about his journey in the heartwarming video below.
SafeWander is being beta tested in memory care settings and so far the response has been very positive. While not yet available to the general public, SafeWander will be releasing product in early 2015. This review will be updated once we are able to get our hands on SafeWander. The big picture here is that Kenneth says that he wants to focus his career on finding solutions for those with Alzheimer’s. “I’d like to solve some of the mysteries of the brain, and invent tools to ultimately, I think, cure Alzheimer’s and other mental conditions that our aging population suffers from.” You go Kenneth, we can’t wait to hear more from you.
In the meantime, if you are looking for additional resources for wandering, consider the options below.
Alzheimer’s Association: The Alzheimer’s Association is the go-to website with research, resources, and links to local chapters.
GPS Trackers: There are a variety of products on the market designed to locate people and objects via GPS- I found a great list here.
GPS Smart Sole: Such a great idea that I had to include it- A GPS enable insole that fits right in a shoe. No bracelet or jewelry required!