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Discussion Starter #1
My 88yr old mom moved in with us last year. Although still quite active, new technology completely confuses her.

Here's what I need help with:

She loves to cruise the neighbourhood in her electric scooter. Unfortunately, the speed and range of the scooter are far outstripping her navigational and directional abilities. ;) If she ventures outside of her 'familiar' range, she quickly gets lost. Being brought home by a kind police officer last week was the final straw. :eek:

We've tried giving her a GPS unit (I pulled the one out of my car for her to try) but the mechanics of using it were well beyond her capabilities.

I really don't want to have to put my mom on a leash, since the independence of bombing around on her scooter is very important to her.

So here's what I'm looking for:

Some kind of GPS unit that she can carry with her on her 'journeys' that allow me to track her from home. If I see that she's getting into unfamiliar territory, I can grab my monitoring unit, take it into the car and drive to wherever she's gotten herself to.

Does such a thing exist? And does it cost an arm and a leg? :eek:

Thanks in advance.
 

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It's an "iffy" solution, depending on your required range and topography of the area, but a pair of Garmin Rino GPS/GMRS radios may work.

A disadvantage is that (I believe) she would have to instigate the update of her current position by clicking the transmitter. Also, If she goes out of range you've lost her position.

An advantage is that you get two way voice capability, if she can master the "push to talk" technology of a two way radio.

These things are a little pricey so cost may be factor for you.
 

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Another solution may be a "smart" cell phone with built in GPS and a tracking application. For me, a quick web search turned up tracking apps for iPhone, Blackberry and Android phones.

Edit: Civuck beat me to this solution with is specific product.
 

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I believe there are also devices specifically designed for Alzheimer's patients. If you search those websites, I'm sure you'll find something.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
How about the Bell 'Seek and Find' service?
Thanks! I didn't even know that existed! And as a Bell Mobility customer, I can see that being a viable (and inexpensive!) option. :cool:

My mom could then take my cell phone with her on her travels, and for $5 a month, I could track her via my PC, and go and get her if I saw she was getting into unfamiliar territory. The one disadvantage is that once I got into the car, I wouldn't be able to continue tracking her direction, though. I suppose I could call her on my cell and just tell her to stay put until I got there. ;)

Do you know if this service is available between cell phones? Or just via a cell phone and a PC?
 

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Discussion Starter #7
I believe there are also devices specifically designed for Alzheimer's patients. If you search those websites, I'm sure you'll find something.
Thanks so much. I will also be looking into that.

Perhaps they make an invisible fence for seniors that work much like the ones for dogs do. Stray outside the boundaries and get a shock! ;)

It would probably interfere with her pacemaker, though. <snort> :D
 

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OK I am the type that usually looks for the simple solution. So why not give your Mom your cell phone or buy her a prepaid one. I am sure she knows how to dial a phone right? If not then program a speed dial number into it. Press 1 Mom. If she gets lost then she calls home and says "I am at 100 Elm Street" or "I am at the park" or you get the idea? If your idea is to monitor her covertly then I suggest you talk to her and tell her why you want her to carry a phone.

Also solutions for children would also work in this case.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Firefly_(mobile_phone)
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Yes, Jake, the "KISS" (Keep It Simple, Stupid) principle would definitely be beneficial here. :)

However, my issue with my mom is that if she *were* able to call me on a cell phone if she were to get lost, she wouldn't be much help in telling me where she was. She just plain panics. Also, her idea of dealing with unfamiliar surroundings is to just keep going instead of turning around and backtracking. She tried that once and found that everything looked different anyway on the way back. :rolleyes:

I would be much more comfortable being able to keep an eye on where she was headed, so that if she does get into trouble, I at least know where to start looking. ;)

When she goes out, I always ask her where she's heading. But for her, "over to the park" can end up with her actually going in the opposite direction.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Just got off the phone with a Bell Mobility rep. When I explained to him what I wanted the Seek & Find feature for, he advised me that the service they offer would not be specific enough to be of much use to me. It would only be able to pinpoint my mom's location to within a 3 to 5 km radius. :rolleyes:

So...back to square one. ;)
 

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Perhaps something like this SPOT GPS tracker might be useful. It runs ~$120 to buy from GPS Central and about $100 /year for service.


http://www.gpscentral.ca/products/spot.html

A brief description pasted from GPS Central's website:

1. GPS satellites provide coordinates.
2. SPOT's onboard GPS chip determines your exact coordinates and sends your location and message to SPOT satellite system.
3. SPOT commercial satellites relay your message to specific antennas around the world.
4. Antennas and supporting equipment route your message to the approriate network.
5. Your message is delivered to the recipient via text message, email or emergency service notification.
 

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A smart phone and Google Latitude are probably the simplest way to go. Just set it up for her and tell her to keep the phone on.
 

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One other thing that I just thought of is that with an Android phone running Chrome to Phone you might (I have never tested this) be able to send Google maps directions directly to the phone that would show her the directions home so that she would not have to use it herself. They would just pop up for her.

I will see if I can try that out later.
 

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Just got off the phone with a Bell Mobility rep. It would only be able to pinpoint my mom's location to within a 3 to 5 km radius.
The software that's discussed in the following links seems to be a lot more specific than that. Perhaps Bell is using tower and not GPS information. You may wish to revisit this issue, perhaps with another provider, or perhaps you were given incorrect information? Have you proceeded with anything?

http://www.digitalhome.ca/forum/showthread.php?p=1166501#post1166501
 

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Cheapest option for locating another party

I have no idea what it's called but here are my parameters.

- Want GPS location of someone ELSE that has given me permission to track them
- real-time update not need, just pinging them to find position of their tracker
- they don't need services (they don't need phone services, gps), just me to find them

- Cheapest option (preferrably no monthly subscription)

Any help would be appreciated. I know about this seek and find thing from bell, but I don't want a cell phone, I just want to find the location from, say, my home computer.

seek and find from bell:
http://www.bell.ca/shopping/Seek-and-Find/FMFIND5.details
 

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I've moved your post to this existing, similar thread. Check out earlier options here. There's also a link in my post 16 you can check out. I don't believe you'll find anything for free. The least expensive seems to be a GPS tracking phone. If you're looking to track the elderly, the Alzheimer option I mentioned earlier in this thread may do the trick, but again, not free. Good Luck.
 

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Sorry you're right, it's the same situation. It seems like there is no solution for this target audience yet again, other than overkill, and overpriced. I was thinking more specifically of using this feature temporarily/seldom, in such cases as tracking luggage, finding your kid, car etc. Paying $10/mo for a cell phone for this situation seems like a lot of work when my luggage doesn't make outgoing calls, and I can't trust Air C***** anymore with my stuff.
 

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May be Bell is going back in time, because I checked out this thread on Howardforums, and the last post on it says that the worst case scenerio (Cell ID), is 1000 metres +, while the Bell rep said 3 - 5 km to a poster here.

http://www.howardforums.com/showthread.php/918148-Finding-a-lost-phone-through-GPS

That info was from 2006 when most phones either don't have GPSr or have primitive GPSr. Today's phones are better and so is the network.

BTW, CRTC had mandated stages of e911 which also relies on similar usage; they wouldn't be too happy if it's 3 - 5 km today! Granted, "Seek and Find" might not have the same accuracy as e911 by design, but still I am not sure why 3 -5 km is any useful today.

Or Bell's rep is just bs'ing (most likely).
 
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