Every 68 seconds, someone in America develops Alzheimer’s disease and at this very moment, 40,000 dementia victims are wandering and lost. By 2050, someone will develop the disease every 33 seconds. One in every eight older Americans already has Alzheimer’s disease. A population of 5.4 million Americans are living with Alzheimer’s disease. It is the sixth-leading cause of death in the US and the only cause of death that cannot be prevented, cured or slowed. In fact, deaths from Alzheimer’s disease have risen 66% while other life-taking diseases have declined between 2000 and 2008.
In service to those afflicted, more than 15 million provide unpaid care. The value of their service accounts for $210B. An additional $200B is paid annually for medical services.
Aside from the myriad physical maladies associated with the disease there is an unusual behavioral anomaly; victims of the disease for no apparent reason wander or elope from their residences and become lost. Totally disassociated from their surroundings they cannot communicate their identity or request assistance. Often they position themselves in isolated places to avoid contact with others. The cost of searching for the 60% of the afflicted that will wander can be as much as $35K per search and take a few hours or days. However, if not found in 12 hours, more than half will die.
While there is no solution for the disease, there is a solution for wandering and its rising death rate. GTX Corp, working with Aetrex Worldwide has developed the first GPS enabled walking shoe affording care givers in-a-minute alerts and real-time locates of wandering victims that are wearing the “Navigators.” The $300 cost and monthly subscription fee for the shoes is minimal when compared to the deadly potential of wandering.