Here's a scenario: Dad has a mild form of dementia and still lives at home with mom. Mom is the primary caregiver, but is still able to leave dad at home while she runs errands and goes to the grocery store. One day, Mom comes home to find the front door open and Dad is nowhere to be found. Panic ensues and emergency services are called.
Situations like this are all too common in communities across Canada and the U.S. Often times, a loved one who has wandered away from home is found by neighbors, concerned citizens, search parties or emergency personnel. Unfortunately, there are also plenty of instances where the person who wanders from home is met with unforgiving weather or unfamiliar surroundings and is not found until days later when it is too late.
SafeTracks: Products for keeping track of your loved ones
SafeTracks™ has an interesting approach to keeping tabs on people with Alzheimer's, dementia, Autism or other serious medical conditions accompanied by cognitive impairments. SafeTracks offers the TRiLOC™ GPS locator watch that can be securely fastened to the wrist. In addition to offering the basic telling-time functions of a watch, the TRiLOC™ has the following features:
- Help (SOS) button
- Fall Detection
- 2-way cellular voice
- Geo-fence zones
- Automatic GPS location updates
- Tampering notifications (if the watch is removed)
- Breadcrumb tracking (to see where user has been)
- Smartphone app available in iOS and Android versions for caregivers
The water resistant (although not recommended in showers or bathing situations) alert device does not have to be tethered to a smartphone, unlike some other mobile location devices we have reviewed. Caregivers can receive texts or emails based on multiple geofence parameters (when the user has left or entered defined areas) as well as immediate notifications in the event of the SOS button being pressed. The two-way voice feature ensures that caregivers can communicate with the user through the watch.
The battery life of the TRiLOC™ is 60 hours on standby, but with average use daily charging is recommended. Cellular coverage is required for the TRiLOC™ to work. SafeTracks GPS is partnered with and uses Rogers in Canada and AT&T in the US. Connected family and caregiver's tablet and smartphones can use any cellular network; this does not have an effect on the usability of the TRiLOC™. The watch is on the larger side, if you have small wrists, this current version may not work for you. SafeTracks is planning to release an updated smaller version with color choices later in 2017. This post will be updated once the new version is available.
In the home, SafeTracks also offers the BlueBeacon ($69.95) as a supplemental location device when a GPS signal is weak or not available. The BlueBeacon connects via Bluetooth to the TRiLOC™. In the home, caregivers can monitor specific areas indoors and be notified immediately if compatible door magnet sensors are triggered. This could be extremely useful for night time notification if a user is getting up undetected by a spouse or caregiver.
How much is the TRiLOC™?
There are two options for paying for the TRiLOC™, leasing and purchasing.
Leasing Option: The Canadian leasing cost is $69.95/ month, U.S. is $59.95/ month. The lease includes; the TRiLOC™ the monthly service fee, unlimited data, text, SMS as well as 15 minutes of Emergency voice calls ($0.75 per minute overage charge applies when over the 15 min./month allotment of voice data. There is a 6-month min lease term agreement. Upon cancellation of the lease, the TRiLOC™ is sent back to SafeTracks™.
Purchase Option: The price of the TRiLOC™ is the same for Canadian and U.S. customers; the device retails for $399.95. The monthly service fees are different at $49.95 in Canada and $39.95 in the U.S. There is a 30-day cancellation policy for the monthly service fee.
Ultimate safety for vulnerable loved ones
For family and caregivers who are looking for a GPS tracking + safety device that is not dependant on the user, I would recommend checking out the TRiLOC™ as an option. This device does it all with GPS location, automatic alerts, two-way voice, SOS button and it also tells time! Of course, the user needs to be open to wearing a watch and as mentioned before, is not meant for small wrists. We look forward to reporting back on the next version of the safety watch later this year.
As a testament to the importance, value and innovation of SafeTracks products, the company was named the winner of the Societal Impact Award at the annual Alberta Science and Technology Leadership (ASTech) Awards ceremony in late 2016. This award is given to individuals or teams who have led or significantly contributed to a technological contribution that has a positive impact on society.