Dementia patients’ affected cognitive functions may result in boredom, confinement, and memory loss, leading to the common attribute of wandering or wayfaring. (Graham, 2019; Topfer, 2016). GPS technology can alert caregivers to an individual’s whereabouts and reduce the cost, anxiety, and stress involved in searching for a missing person. A 2014 study in the UK with 12 dementia patients and their caregivers found that GPS technology reduces the time it takes when searching for a missing person (Milne et al., 2014).

There are many factors to consider when choosing a GPS technology: The design of the device – two common designs are a watch -like wrist band or a neck pendant; other additional functions the device has such as making calls, detecting falls, sending emergency alarms; using available wifi signals in the environment etc.

Occupational Therapists at My Rehab Team can help you explore the latest technology to help with dementia. Contact us on 1300 469 734 or  for more information.


  • Graham, M. (2017). From wandering to wayfaring: Reconsidering movement in people with dementia in long-term care. Dementia, 16(6), 732-749. DOI:  10.1177/1471301215614572
  • Milne, H., Van Der Pol, M., McCloughan, L., Hanley, J., Mead, G., Starr, J. (2014). The use of global positional satellite location in dementia: a feasibility study for a randomised controlled trial. BMC Psychiatry. http://www​.ncbi.nlm.nih​.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4053578.
  • Topfer, L. (2016). GSP locator devices for people with dementia. CADTH Issues in Emerging Health Technologies.