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Senior Citizen GPS Limitations

What Families Need To Know About GPS Trackers

With the generation dubbed the Baby Boomers moving into their golden years, senior citizen care has been at the forefront of many conversations. However, those conversations become much more serious when they involve a family member or friend who is showing signs of memory-related illness such as Dementia. With memory-related illness impacting families all over the United States, many people are calling upon elderly GPS trackers to help safeguard and monitor a potentially wandering senior citizen. Although GPS trackers can provide a wealth of information related to locational data, it is important to realize that personal tracking applications still have some significant limitations.

One of the very first questions a customer inquiring about a personal GPS tracker will ask is whether or not the tracking device comes in the form of a wristwatch, necklace or something that can easily be attached to the senior citizen. Although having a GPS tracking device fashioned in the form of a wristwatch or other accessory sounds like a great idea on the surface, the reality is that GPS trackers are fairly complex systems that receive and transmit data frequently. This means that the GPS tracker is constantly working hard and requires a internal battery source that can keep up with user demand. Therefore, a GPS tracker in the form of a necklace, ring or pendant really is not a option. However, portable tracking solutions that can be carried are an option as well as bracelet watches that can track a senior in real-time. What GPS tracker device manufacturers must do in order to create a monitoring device that can perform for extended lengths of time is design a battery-pack that is both small and powerful. The power solution that most cellular companies, smart phone manufacturers and GPS tracker businesses have been using are lithium-ion rechargeable battery packs. This is because lithium-ion battery packs offer quick recharging capabilities, while also holding power for much longer than other more common forms of battery devices. Although lithium-ion batteries are both powerful and rechargeable, they still need to be a moderate size to keep up with the demands of a real-time GPS tracker. That results in the senior citizen tracker being larger than a pendant or other form of jewelry. A real-time GPS tracker in the form of a bracelet watch usually offers roughly 40 hours worth of battery life, therefore it is very important that those using this type of GPS solution for senior safety make certain they charge the bracelet watch on a nightly basis in case an emergency situation does occur.

When people think of GPS tracking they think of pinpoint locational data but since most seniors are in a home the GPS users think the technology will be able to show them if a senior is in the living room, bedroom, kitchen or some other specific location in the house or senior facility. The truth is GPS works fantastic when the devices have a clean line of sight to the sky, offering locational data that is accurate up to a few feet! Unfortunately, when a senior is inside a home or building there can be a ton of interference. Metal walls, roofs, concrete and other building components can all result in less than accurate locational data. Therefore, it is important that people using GPS tracking devices for senior safety be aware that these factors can play a role in the way they see their personal tracking data.

Senior safety is a growing concern and anything that can help aid in senior care is certainly worth investigating and promoting. However, it is important that people understand as wonderful as GPS tracking is that the technology still has some limitations, but then again any increase in safety is a good thing.

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