Mobile alarms can be taken anywhere with you, unlike traditional alarms that will only work at home. With a mobile alarm you can be safe at home, in the garden, or ‘out and about’. This means you can have peace of mind walking the dog, visiting friends and going to the shops. GPS tracking in your elderly personal alarm means that we will know where to send help to when you press the SOS button.
What is a GPS Alarm?Article by Daniel Westhead
Global Positioning System (GPS) is used by most of us every day.
From relying on Google Maps for directions to tracking the whereabouts of our takeaway delivery driver on our mobile phones, it’s a system which has completely transformed the way we live our lives.
But GPS can be used to ensure the safety of ourselves and our loved ones too.
GPS is a system of over 30 navigation satellites which circle the earth and constantly send out signals. A GPS receiver in your phone or device listens for these signals, and once received it calculates the distance that you are from four or more of these satellites which then configures your position.
In practice, this means that we can know where we are within a few yards or even closer at any given time.
For those who are caring for a loved one GPS tracking devices give peace of mind that we can keep an eye on their whereabouts and summon help should difficulties occur. And for those who may feel vulnerable when out and about, GPS tracking provides the reassurance that wherever you are, someone can find you quickly and easily if you need them to.
What is a GPS alarm?
A GPS personal alarm is a security device that uses the GPS to track the location of a person (or in some cases goods or objects).
From the perspective of elder care, a personal alarm with GPS tracking can be used to monitor the whereabouts of elderly or vulnerable friends or family members and also includes the ability for them to get help should they get into difficulties or fall ill.
Using a personal device with GPS tracking means that you know that you can summon help at the touch of a button should you need it. And with SureSafe, all of our mobile alarms also come with automatic fall detection, so even if you are unable to press the alarm button, you can be assured that someone can not just know that you’re in trouble, but also locate you quickly and easily.
Geo-fencing and GPS alarms
Another feature of many personal alarms which use GPS is known as geo-fencing. This means that should the wearer of the alarm leave a specific area, a loved one, or monitoring team will be alerted.
This can be a particularly beneficial feature for anyone who has dementia or a related condition and who may get confused and wander. For example, a geo fence may be put around the home and garden, so that an alert will be given if the wearer leaves the house. Friends and family can then quickly check if they are OK, and bring them back home if they are not meant to be out.
Do personal alarms actually work?
Personal alarms can be extremely beneficial for seniors, as they can help to keep them safe and secure. Many models now come with GPS tracking, so if an older person were to wander off or become lost, their loved ones could easily track their whereabouts. Additionally, personal alarms can provide peace of mind for both the wearers and their families.
Who should use a GPS alarm?
Personal alarms which feature GPS tracking can be of benefit to a wide range of users.
However, they are especially helpful for seniors who may be more at risk of falling or getting into difficulty when out and about. GPS tracking devices with alarms are also great for lone workers.
GPS personal alarms for the elderly
GPS personal alarms for the elderly are becoming increasingly popular as a way to keep track of loved ones who may be at risk of wandering off and getting lost. These devices can be worn as a pendant or bracelet, and they use GPS technology to track the wearer's location.
Additionally, as an older person, choosing a personal alarm which includes GPS tracking can give you confidence, as you know that, wherever you are, you are able to get help if you need it. This in turn can offer you a lot more freedom in your everyday life.
Choosing a personal alarm that offers GPS tracking can open up the world to an older person who may be nervous about being out alone, or feels unsteady on their feet. They can have both physical and mental health benefits too.
By feeling secure in leaving the home the wearer can be more physically active which helps to protect their health and feel less isolated too. For those who want to combine safety with being more active, the SureSafeGO Plus even offers a step counter, letting you track your physical activity.
GPS personal alarms for lone workers
GPS alarms for lone workers have come into their own in the last few years as organisations realise the benefits of combining both employee monitoring and safety.
They are extremely helpful for those who work at remote locations or in potentially threatening environments as, should they fall ill while alone, or be threatened by a service user or member of the public, not only can help be easily summoned but with GPS tracking, the emergency services or another form of support will know exactly where they are.
This can be especially beneficial for those who may work in locations where they are unfamiliar with street names or buildings.
For business owners, including an element of GPS in your safety alarms also allows for better resource management, as you can understand where your teams are, and how long specific tasks or meetings tend to take and plan accordingly.
Find out more about lone worker alarms
Is GPS tracking illegal in the UK?
It is illegal to track anyone without their permission or knowledge in the UK.
For personal devices, you will need the consent of the wearer (or, in the case where a person may be suffering dementia, the person with Power of Attorney on their behalf). Of course, choosing to use a personal alarm with GPS tracking should always be discussed with the person who will be wearing it.
For businesses who use GPS tracking devices for lone workers, it’s wise to consult an expert as while you can gain permission from your workers to use GPS tracking devices, you will also need to be mindful of how any data is stored as it would be subject to GDPR.
How can I track an elderly relative?
There are several different ways that you can track an elderly relative. One of the best options is to purchase a personal alarm with GPS tracking. This will allow you to easily track their whereabouts if they were to wander off or become lost.
Of course, another option is to use a phone tracking app such as Find my iPhone or Life360. However, these trackers tend to be designed more for families, so while they are great for tracking, they don’t offer the features such as fall detection or full monitoring. They also rely on phone batteries being available.
Are there GPS trackers with no monthly fee?
Yes. The SureSafeGO Family monitored alarm can be set up with no monthly fee.
This type of alarm works by storing the telephone numbers of the people that you would want to be contacted in an emergency in them.
When you press the SOS button, the alarm system will call the first name on your list, and if there is no answer it will then go on to call your second and third nominated contacts.
Our SureSafeGO and SureSafeGO Plus will also send an SOS text to each of your contacts which includes a Google Maps link to your GPS alarm’s location so they know where you are and where to send help.
Alarms with GPS tracking can offer a great deal of security and reassurance for both those who use them and their loved ones, so it’s definitely worth considering this feature when buying a personal alarm.
Call SureSafe's team of experts on 0800 112 3201 to learn more about our GPS alarms.