Alzheimer's Foundation of America and Breadcrumb Introduce GPS Locator Device to Help Track Wanderers

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Directly addressing the major—and life-threatening—issue of wandering among individuals with Alzheimer's disease, the Alzheimer's Foundation of America (AFA) and Breadcrumb LLC today announced the roll-out of a state-of-the-art locator device and caregiver-friendly monitoring system. This innovative new tracking device is designed specifically for the dementia population and aimed at immediately and precisely pinpointing a person's whereabouts.

The partners are scheduled to launch the Breadcrumb BC300 GPS Locating Device (QVC Item #V31691) on QVC January 20 at 1 PM (ET). It will be the first Alzheimer's-specific product offered through the leading multimedia retailer. The system is complete with an adapter, charging station, USB cable, rechargeable batteries, attachment bands, and an instructional DVD.

As one of the smallest, most-lightweight and highly affordable tracking devices on the market, the BC300 is strapped comfortably around a person's ankle with a heavy-duty band. Designed with the symptoms of Alzheimer's disease in mind, including memory loss, confusion and other cognitive loss, the device is not dependent on the user's activation.

Utilizing a global positioning system (GPS) and cellular technology that receives signals from satellites, the device continuously maps a person's precise location and provides a "breadcrumb trail" of the exact route. Caregivers can access the wearer's real-time whereabouts around-the-clock on a Google map via an Internet-connected computer and/or smartphones.     

The BC300 system works by setting up a virtual fence, or geofence, around a person's residence and/or other locations, such as a relative's home or an adult day center, and sends an alert when the wearer leaves that zone.

Using a protocol developed in collaboration with AFA, experienced operators at Breadcrumb's customer care center will also have the ability to obtain vital information about wearers, monitor the system 24/7 and alert up to five designated caregivers or others via phone, e-mail or text when a person has become lost.  Local authorities will be notified when necessary.

According to experts, every person with dementia who can walk is at risk of becoming lost and faces a 61 percent risk of death if not found within the first 24 hours.

"The BC300 is an exciting, proactive solution to one of the most challenging behaviors among people with Alzheimer's disease," said Eric J. Hall, AFA's president and CEO. "Its unique features are designed specifically for this vulnerable population, to serve as a virtual 'watchdog' for caregivers and help protect the safety of loved ones. It's all about quality of care and ultimately quality of life for potential wanderers and caregivers."   

According to Sam Mancuso, Breadcrumb's CEO, the device relies on technology that Breadcrumb developed and effectively utilizes for other types of situations, including war zones overseas. Breadcrumb and AFA have been working together on tailoring it for Alzheimer's disease for more than two years.

"This breakthrough device advances our technology and practically applies it for individuals with Alzheimer's disease. This powerful combination of technology and customer care marks a new generation of locator systems that offers peace of mind to families," Mancuso said.

AFA and Breadcrumb are unveiling the locator as the incidence of Alzheimer's disease is skyrocketing, fueled by the large number of baby boomers who are turning 65 each day and, as a result, are facing a higher risk of the brain disease. Advanced age is the greatest known risk factor.

The BC300 will be available on AFA's e-store at www.alzfdn.org and directly from Breadcrumb at www.breadcrumbgps.com. For more information about AFA, call toll-free 866-AFA-8484.