The recent death of a Lansing woman is a grim reminder of the toll Alzheimer’s disease and dementia take on our elderly residents and their families, who are often their overwhelmed caregivers.
Johanna L. Kirkwood’s body was found Monday, two days after she wandered from her home in Lansing, according to the Star-Gazette. Her husband had gone to the store about noon Saturday, and when he returned, she was gone.
Police and rescue workers searched for two days, and found her body Monday not far from her home. She was 82 years old.
Mrs. Kirkwood’s death is a tragedy, and our thoughts and prayers go out to her husband and other family members.
Bob Kraft, an elder law attorney in Texas and a friend of the Ziff Law Firm, wrote this week about an exciting new use of GPS technology that may help other families avoid facing a terrible tragedy similar to what happened in Lansing.
Bob wrote about two companies that have placed GPS technology in footwear so when people like Mrs. Kirkwood wander off, as long as the patient is wearing shoes, the patient can be located. The shoes send an alert if the patient goes beyond a designated safe area, Bob said. As Bob notes, this is very helpful for caregivers and families.
Bob learned about this product from an article in the San Diego Union-Tribune newspaper. The newspaper said the companies, in New Jersey and California, have created a shoe that uses GPS technology to track the movements of people wearing the shoes.
Aetrex Worldwide of New Jersey began selling the shoes on its website last month and has sold “a few hundred pairs” so far. The company president said they are in talks with the Department of Veterans Affairs and assisted-living companies about selling the shoes.
The shoes sell for $299, plus a monthly tracking fee, but as any caregiver of an alzheiners or dementia patient in Elmira, Corning and the Twin Tiers will tell you it is a price well worth paying for the patient’s safety – and the caregivers’ peace of mind.
Thanks for reading.