New technology brings peace of mind for carers

A NEW pilot scheme offers better peace of mind for people who look after a relative or friend with dementia when travelling away from home.

The service, designed to help people with dementia stay safe on holiday, is being piloted in Bucks.

The dementia sufferer wears a discreet tracking device, called the ‘buddi’ safer walking system, which uses mobile phone and GPS technology and is linked to a call centre.

If the person wanders, they can be located simply and easily at any time of the day or night, giving reassurance to the carer.

Funded by Bucks County Council, the service will be run by Carers Bucks on the council’s behalf.

Carers are offered the free loan of a ‘buddi’ while they are away.

Although the service is initially intended for holidays in the UK and Europe, it can be extended worldwide if there is sufficient demand.

Bucks County Council cabinet member for adults and family wellbeing, Patricia Birchley, said she hopes it will help boost carers’ confidence.

She said: “The ‘buddi’ forms part of a wide range of equipment and technology available from the council’s Telecare Service to help vulnerable people live as independently as possible in their own home. This technology means that for some carers a holiday away from home with their loved one is now a possibility.”

Carers can contact Carers Bucks on 01296 392711 to find out more or to reserve one for their holiday.