Sussex police are piloting a scheme to tag dementia patients and Chief Inspector Tanya Jones has been quoted as saying “The GPS will be very cost-effective to the police. It will reduce anxiety for the family and really reduce the police time spent on this issue.”
This has provoked some extreme criticism from “trying to get care on the cheap”, to “barbaric”. As with all these things it would be necessary to understand exactly how it would operate, but in theory and from my own perspective having had a parent with dementia, I would have welcomed the scheme.
My mother used to always go out with a call alarm system around her neck, which only worked when she was in her home, but she kept it on in the hope that it might work when she was out of the house – it offered her a feeling of security.
By offering such devices patients will be able to stay in their homes for longer which can only be for the best in most cases. Plus it will provide a huge sense of relief for carers, families etc. As for saving money for the police – great – that’s saving our money. Dementia whether you like it or not costs the state and will do so increasingly for years to come as more and more of us develop this condition. If money can be saved on such simple devices here – more money can go towards developing a cure, at the end of the day – the money all comes from the same pot.