A group that works to promote the welfare of Alzheimer’s disease sufferers yesterday urged the government to subsidize global positioning system (GPS) tracking devices for individuals suffering from the disorder that causes dementia.
The Taiwan Alzheimer’s Disease Association said equipping sufferers with the device would prevent them from wandering the streets and enable family members to find them easily.
“A GPS locator is just too expensive for an average family to afford,” said Tang Li-yu (湯麗玉), secretary-general of the association.
The service would likely include a NT$6,000 (US$188) cellphone-like tracking device with a monthly maintenance fee of NT$600, according to a local provider.
Tang’s organization has been lobbying the Ministry of the Interior to share the cost with patients’ families for years, but to no avail.
However, Tang admits that even though the GPS device would be handy, there are cheaper alternatives to helping dementia patients find their way home.
Cheaper methods include having patients’ fingerprints taken at a police station, patients wearing bracelets with their home address or a family member’s contact details on it, stitching names on personal belongings and putting name cards in bags.
In case people encounter confused or lost elderly people in the street, these provide useful ways for them to identify sufferers so they can help them find their way home, Tang said.
“The best bet would be to apply all of the means above to ensure efficiency,” she said.
As of the end of last year, there were 35,783 reported cases of dementia in Taiwan, most of them people 65 years or older. Numbers continue to increase steadily, according to government statistics.
“As much as we would like to have senior patients use GPS, it’s just too costly,” said Yu Fang-ling (俞芳苓), a public relations officer at Saint Mary’s Hospital in Luodong (羅東).
Yu’s hospital received 20 free GPS devices from Taiwan Secom Company, a local provider, several years ago and has been distributing and redistributing them to elders living alone and those with chronic ailments.
However, the company’s spokesman, Max Chu, said the market for elderly people using GPS devices is not as large as the company had expected.
Well-off families prefer to hire a caregiver to follow their loved ones around, whereas other families may keep dementia patients at home at all times, he said.
There are only about 3,000 clients, including children and the elderly, using a GPS locator in Taiwan, he added.
White-label cellphones manufactured in a Chinese factory are believed to contain Trojan software that enables fraudsters to set up mobile game accounts using the owners’ phone numbers, police said on Saturday, with nearly 100 older people affected so far. After receiving a number of complaints from local branches over the past few months, the National Police Agency launched an investigation into the mobile game points-for-cash scam. The fraudsters would pose as women online to persuade people to buy game point cards at supermarkets and load the points into accounts created with the cellphone users’ phone numbers before requesting cash refunds from the
‘UNAFRAID’: Most Taiwanese do not seem to be aware of the danger of war and might be unprepared, a KMT legislator said of the poll by an affiliated foundation Nearly 60 percent of Taiwanese believe that a war between Taiwan and China is “unlikely” or “impossible,” a survey released yesterday by the National Policy Foundation showed. The survey asked participants if they thought there was a possibility of war between the two sides of the Taiwan Strait based on recent developments, said the foundation, which is affiliated with the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT). While 42.5 percent of respondents thought it was “unlikely” and 17.1 percent believed it was “impossible,” 5.1 percent said it was “very likely” and 17.2 percent said it was “fairly possible,” the survey showed. Another 18.2 percent gave
The Taipei District Court yesterday ordered three more suspects in a feces attack on a Taipei restaurant to be held incommunicado over concerns that they might tamper with evidence, flee or renew their alleged attacks. The three suspects — two brothers surnamed Lee (李) and another man identified as Chiang (江) — were arrested on charges of vandalism, public insult, extortion and injury after the court held a detention hearing earlier in the day, court spokesperson Huang Pei-chen (黃珮禎) said. The court in a statement said that the three men said they had no rancor against anyone in the restaurant and that
DISCUSSION: The KMT chairman said that Retrocession Day is an important ROC holiday and its celebration had nothing to do with a struggle within the party The Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) hopes to highlight the “important connection” between the Republic of China (ROC) and Taiwan with its celebration of Retrocession Day on Sunday, KMT Chairman Johnny Chiang (江啟臣) said yesterday. In response to media queries in Taichung, Chiang said that Retrocession Day is an important ROC holiday, and that its celebration had nothing to do with a struggle within the KMT over its party line. The KMT values ROC holidays, such as Double Ten National Day and Retrocession Day, he said, adding that since the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) came to power, observation of the holidays has “weakened.” The