As Americans continue to live longer, Alzheimer’s disease is expected to skyrocket from the current 5.3 million Americans to as many as 16 million by 2050, according to the Alzheimer's Association 2009 Alzheimer’s Disease Facts & Figures report. This progressive and fatal disease poses immediate safety concerns for people living with the disease and enormous challenges and stress for their caregivers.
Alzheimer's Association Comfort Zone™, powered by Omnilink, is the first comprehensive location management system designed specifically for Alzheimer’s, giving people with the disease more freedom and independence while providing their family some peace of mind. Web-based Comfort Zone works with various location devices to proactively communicate the location of the person with Alzheimer’s disease within two to 30 minutes, based on the family’s selected plan, combining technology with flexibility so that families can change devices and plans through the progression of the disease.
How Comfort Zone Works
- The family chooses the right location device to meets their personal needs based on the stage of the disease.
- On the secure, password-protected Comfort Zone Web site, the family can personalize their desired zones for day and night for the person with Alzheimer’s.
- Family members decide the amount of monitoring that meets their need:
- Monitoring from a computer or by calling the 24/7 monitoring center
- Depending on the device and service package purchased, receiving alerts within 15 or 30 minutes when the person has traveled in or out of a zone
- Initiating a “Find Me” to locate the person within two minutes or a longer “Follow Me” session, which provides updates every two minutes for one hour
- Emergency assistance if there is wandering incident
- Family members decide method of alert delivery (text message or email) and frequency:
- Every time the person enters home or place of work
- Only if a person leaves a pre-determined safety zone
- The person with Alzheimer’s wears his or her location device (such as a pager) or mounts a device to his or her car.
- As the person travels around town or from coast to coast, the device receives signals from satellites or nearby cellular towers. The device can then approximate the person’s location by measuring the distance between itself and the cellular towers or satellite signals and communicate the data to Comfort Zone.
- If a wandering incident occurs, the monitoring center is able to access emergency health records.
- Families have 24/7 access to Alzheimer's Association Care Consultation Helpline and safety education resources at 1-800-272-3900 or www.alz.org to help support them through the stages of the disease
The price of Comfort Zone packages varies, beginning at $42.99 a month with a $45.00 activation fee, similar to most cell phone services. The cost of the hardware device will vary. For more information or to purchase Comfort Zone, visit www.alz.org/comfortzone or call 1-877-ALZ-4850 (1-877-259-4850).