After my mom passed away, my dad lived alone for a year. He enjoyed walking in the neighborhood for exercise and puttering around in the yard. I was happy he was getting out, but I worried – particularly when I knew he was working in the yard. The house hid most of the backyard, so if Dad fell, no one would know he was out there.
You can imagine that I was pretty excited when I heard about shoes that could track people via GPS. GPS shoes for elderly parents have a GPS tracker inside a pair of insoles that fit into most shoes. They are great for seniors who have memory challenges. Because they can’t be seen, the person enjoys their independence and doesn’t feel like they are being watched, yet caregivers know where they are.
How Can I Track My Elderly Parents With Shoes?
There are several ways that adult children can track an elderly parent’s coming and goings, but these ways generally all walk a fine line for potentially being invasive. After all, how would you feel if you were told that you needed to wear a particular watch or necklace because your kid wants to keep an eye on you?
That’s why GPS shoes are so cool – the person doesn’t see the device, so they feel less like you’re spying on them.
GPS Tracking Shoes For Elderly
The GPS SmartSole is great for those who have some memory concerns. This can include anyone from a forgetful parent all the way up to loved ones who have dementia or Alzheimer’s and are slipping out and wandering.
These smart soles are patented insoles with a tiny, built in GPS tracker inside the pad. The tracker runs on a rechargeable battery that needs to be recharged about every 1-3 days. Under normal use, the GPS pads will last up to 30 months.
They fit into most shoes easily and feel like regular insoles so there is no concern that the device will bother tender feet.
Plus the individual doesn’t have to remember to take a tracker with them. They just put their shoes on and go. Since these devices are so unobtrusive, they work well for aging parents who may otherwise resist wearing a tracking device.
The GPS SmartSoles allow you to know your loved one’s location via your desktop web browser, tablet or smartphone. You can also set it up to send text and email alerts if your parent leaves a certain area that has been defined on a map.
In order to track your parent, you’ll need to get the monitoring plan, which costs about $30 per month (no activation fee). They run on 2G cellular service.
Will they fit your senior’s shoes? According to their website, the inserts “come in 3 trim to fit sizes for kids, teens and adults. Size Small can trim down to a kid’s size 3, but may fit best in a “wide” shoe. While the length of the toe area for each size can be trimmed; the width may not be trimmed. Due to the size of the technology within the insole, these are the minimum sizes for GPS SmartSole at this time.”
As of the time of this writing, these smart insoles retail for around $300.00 – a small price to pay for peace of mind.
Also on the horizon? A different company is in the process of making shoelace GPS trackers! We’re excited to see how they work once they hit the market (they’re still in the development stage).
Similar to the GPS SmartSole insoles, the shoelace trackers would provide effortless tracking once they were in place. The senior would not have to remember to bring a device along – they would simply lace up and go.
While you will definitely feel better if you can keep track of your parent, do remember that GPS tracking shoes for elderly loved ones have a few drawbacks. They won’t keep the person from getting lost in the first place and your parent may resist wearing this type of device.
The pluses outweigh the minuses, though, especially if your older parent is in the early stages of dementia or Alzheimer’s, or if they live alone. If you can keep an eye on their whereabouts, you’ll know where to find them right away, should they get turned around and lost while they are out.