Tracking Devices..... are there any?


Registered User
Jan 29, 2005
I’ve tried searching round the forums for information, but can’t quite find what I’m after…… so here we go ……. Realising that the question of ‘electronic tagging’ is a bit sensitive because of civil liberty issues.
Anyhow, my Dad is about 2 years down the line from being diagnosed. If someone doesn’t know him, they probably don’t think anything is wrong. However, his memory is getting increasingly bad. Mum can’t ask him to go out and buy something for instance …… he gets agitated that he’s going to forget….. and quite frequently does in any case! However, even though he’s 76, he’s an incredibly fit man and has always been a great walker. He likes to go off for walks on his own, perhaps including getting on local buses. But, Mum has suspected on a couple of occasions that he has got off buses at the wrong step and then walked for ages until he’s picked up a landmark he’s familiar with and managed to then get home. Mum has put contact details on a slip of paper in his bus pass so if worse came to worse, someone would know where he’s supposed to go. However, on Saturday he got lost! The first Mum knew was a phone call from him; a lady had let him borrow a mobile phone. He wasn’t too far away; the lady directed him back in the right direction. (As an aside…. It’s a lovely example of people still being willing to help others, for which I’m so very grateful). Mum did phone me and I was on the point of getting the car out to ‘cruise round’ to try to find him but before I had chance to, he got back home under his own steam. Now….. we can’t insist that Dad doesn’t go out on his own. That is in itself an infringement of liberties! Mum can’t always go with him ….. don’t think she could keep up with him! So….. I was thinking along the lines of a small GPS tracking device to put in with his bus pass (which he always as with him) or somewhere similar and if Mum gets at all worried because he’s been out longer than expected, she can phone me and I could trace him via the Internet ….. ??? Or something like that. Is there anything out there that fits this kind of suggestion? Could the devices for cars be adapted? Or something involving mobile phones (although he isn’t a mobile phone user, so that could be an issue in itself).
Thanks for any help you can offer.

Grannie G

Volunteer Moderator
Apr 3, 2006
Dear Elaine,

Your father sounds so much like my husband, except he never gets on buses. When he was driving and took the car for servicing, he always walked home and walked back to fetch it, and never dreamt of getting the bus. He was too impatient to wait for one.

He carries an ID card from the Admiral Nurses, I believe the AS produces on too. He would object to a tracking device at this stage, but if you do find one, I`d be interested, for the future.

But as long as your father is able to ask for help, he will get home. As you say, paople are very kind.

Take care xx


Registered User
Mar 21, 2003
Hi Elaine,

here are a couple of links that may help. The first is an alzheimers factsheet on "Assistive technology".

You can also find a few threads on this subject using the search as this has popped up before as you can imagine. People can wear identity bracelets etc - and more ideas on this subject:

Also check out medicalert mentioned in the above thread:

Hope that helps
Kind Regards


Volunteer Moderator
Oct 2, 2007
Hello Elaine

He carries an ID card from the Admiral Nurses, I believe the AS produces on too.
Grannie G is right: The Alzheimer's Society produces a set of 'helpcards', which are free for people with dementia. You can order some by calling the Living with Dementia team on 0114 279 9834.

Also, you might want to look at the following website: - it is a brilliant resource, and contains info on a huge range of products, including various 'wandering detectors' (their words not mine). I don't think there are GPS systems on there, but there are lots of other devices that may be of use to you.

Take care,



Registered User
Jan 29, 2005
Thank-you for all the information, I really appreciate it. I will have a good look at it all tonight. I like the idea of the mobile phone detector, although my husband said he thought he'd read somewhere that they aren't terribly accurate?
The downside of a mobile phone is that he might get into a bit of a state if it does something he's not expecting...... and unfortunately, he does tend to 'fiddle' with things so he has scope for messing the thing up! At the moment, we regularly have to 'fix' the TVs at their house because he unsets the settings by random fiddling with the remote controls!
Never mind!
Thanks again,


Registered User
Mar 6, 2007
Wigan, Lancs
Hi Elaine,

Your Dad sounds very like my Dad, still fit at 82. He went seriously missing a few weeks ago and I like you flew out of the house to 'cruise around'. The Police became involved and I had to file a missing persons report. Like your Dad my Dad walks very purposefully and no one passing him would think anything was wrong. So the Police asked how their patrols would recognise him? Not easy, so unless your Dad has any VERY obvious features (a mohican was one of the Police's suggestions :rolleyes: ) make sure you have a photo of him in your wallet.

He turned up safe and well but after this I ordered a card with his photo on, all our contact numbers, details of his condition, allergies etc. He still carries his credit cards (although he can't remember his PIN) and we put it with them, explaining it had contact numbers on.

The card was from a private company, you design it yourself on their web site and it cost about £5. It arrived about 36 hours after I ordered it (not sure that would happen at the moment with the current postal strike!)

Let me know if you want me to PM you the web site.

We too considered a mobile phone and looked at the one on the web site mentioned by Craig, but we thought it quite expensive, were not sure my Dad could work it and decided he would probably lose it in a week.


Registered User
Jan 29, 2005
Hi Sue,
Mum has put a slip of paper with contact details in with his bus pass which he always has with him. Thanks for the point about US having a photo of him...... hadn't thought of that (today's DOH moment!). As you say...... Dad doesn't have any particularly distinguishing features...... but had to smile at the thought of him having a mohican :eek:

Thanks for those links Phil. I found those, plus one called 'buddi' at :

But they all seem a bit expensive ..... the option of tracking a mobile phone is cheaper but the various articles seem to suggest that GPS units are more accurate.

I'll have to chat things through with my Mum and see what she thinks.



Registered User
Sep 10, 2005
Hello Elaine

Thanks for raising this. Having been away from TP for a couple of weeks, I'm just trying to catch up with things. Your dad and (Sue's dad) sound like my mum. Still fit and active and presenting well to strangers ... You might remember I posted on here not too long ago about mum going AWOL; she does enjoy those midnight bus rides - unfortunately I don't:rolleyes:

I'm going to have a look at all the thread information and consider something for mum. I too thought about a mobile phone ... even mum suggested it, but the issues around that are:
- she won't remember how to use it/turn it on/carry it with her
- if she asks someone how to use it, it might unwittingly turn her into the latest police statistic
- she might lose it
- she'd not remember to charge it up (either electrically or financially!!)

Let me know how you get on, Elaine. And if I find anything during my research, I'll let you (and Sue) know.

Good luck


Registered User
Jun 29, 2007
North Wales

Hello Elaine,

The website given by IT man Phil - wanderingindementia - seems a v pratical solution.

But if you haven't already solved your problem and want to do your own thing, there is a Personal tracker sold by a well known electronics firm which sounds as though it might help.

I am not an expert in this field but for interest its details are:

Personal Tracker
• Call the device and get its GPS location
• Compact and portable
• Works throughout the world*

If you are not familiar with GPS systems, you would need advice on how to use it but maybe your local branch of the firm would be able to help you.

Its basic cost is £129.99

Because of the rules on advertising, you need to PM me and I'll give you the name of the firm
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Registered User
Nov 7, 2004
Is this what you want

On page 5 of today’s issue of Financial Mail (which comes free with The Mail on Sunday) there is an article about a new company called BUDDI which is selling a personal locating device that seems to be almost exactly what we are looking for. It costs £299, plus a monthly subscription of £20. It has been endorsed by The National Autistic Society. The device is the size of a matchbox and allows you to use your computer to find out EXACTLY where your loved one is at any time.

The company web site is

Have a look



Registered User
Nov 7, 2004
Just in case anyone following this thread has missed it… there is an interesting thread running in the Tea Room started by Siftersam with the title “tracking device idea for wandering people”


Registered User
Oct 12, 2007
There's a link to it here

I'm about to update the thread to let people know how I'm getting on with my Dad's tracker. Its all good news!

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