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Alzheimer's & Dementia
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Product Listing – Limited Use Cell Phone with GPS
Emergency Outgoing Call Only



LifeWatch Cellular Medical Alarm with GPS


MANUFACTURER
LifeWatchUSA

COST
$45 per month (advanced plan) for a 3-month commitment. The phone must be returned when you decide not to continue using it.

Contact the manufacturer to ask about returns with a full refund within 30 days.

VENDORS
LifeWatchUSA

DISCLAIMER
The listing of these products is for informational purposes and individuals must use their own caution and judgment when using these resources. Functional levels and changes in judgment and reasoning are highly variable in people with dementia. Interventions must be individualized and continually assessed because those that are effective for some individuals may only work briefly and may not work at all for others.

DESCRIPTION
The Cellular Medical Alarm with GPS is a small, lightweight, limited use cell phone with GPS, designed to be used for emergencies. The unit cannot receive calls.

Features (Advanced Plan Only)

You or another caregiver can use the GPS feature to locate the person with the device by using the internet at any time (up to 75 times per month).

The GPS function can be used to set a safety zone, so that if the person carrying the device crosses the boundary of that zone, an alert is sent automatically to you, the caregiver, or another family member.

The person can also push the SOS button to send alerts to two contacts.

There is also a speed dial button with a programmable number so the person can make an emergency outgoing call.

The unit cannot receive calls. Note that LifeWatch does not refer to the device as a cell phone, since the features are very limited.

WHAT WE LIKE
Small size (1.1 by 3.5 inches) makes it easy to carry

SOS button useable by person without cell phone skills (if they can remember to use it)

Holds charge for 22 hours

Ability to locate person (depending on cell and GPS coverage)

POTENTIAL CONCERNS
Cell phones and GPS are sometimes out of range

Unit cannot receive calls

The person may not remember to push the SOS button

The person may not remember they have the device on them or even what function it serves

A person with dementia probably won’t remember to charge the device every day or even how to charge it

CAUTION
Some people with Alzheimer’s may refuse to carry the device. The small size makes concealment a possibility, but this strategy should be used with caution.

This unit is best used with a live-in caregiver.


Product Selection Criteria

Our goal is to teach you how to be a good consumer and to help you learn about specific products and unique product features that may enhance your safety and the safety and function of the person with dementia. The products shown in This Caring Home serve as examples only. Manufacturers continually change product specifications and the products represented may be different from those now on the market.

We realize this is not an all-inclusive list. Products featured in This Caring Home were chosen for one or more of the following reasons:
  • Affordability
  • Attractiveness
  • Availability
  • Color selection
  • Ease of use
  • Quality
  • Safety
We encourage you to discuss product selection with other caregivers and health care professionals.


How We Tested

"ThisCaringHome.org tested many products that are commonly recommended for best practices to identify the best use of these products and any potential problems in their use by caregivers and individuals with dementia. Each product included in an Expert Review was tested in a home environment, either an apartment or a single family home (or both), by at least two people. Rosemary Bakker, interior designer, gerontologist and dementia specialist, was one of the testers for every product. Whenever possible, we tested the product over time, sometimes days, weeks, or months, for:
  • Ease of use
  • Reliability
  • Potential safety issues
As a result of our testing, we're listing the pros and cons for using these products and including safety precautions for various products. These products were not tested by persons with dementia. We hope in the future to do case studies to learn more about what works and what doesn't work in a larger variety of caregiving situations and home environments."

Products listed on our website but not tested by ThisCaringHome.org are referred to as "Product Listings".



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