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Thursday 27th October 2016

Dementia patients get tagged

27th December 2007

A leading charity has given its backing to electronic tagging for patients who suffer from dementia.

Old Hands

The Alzheimer’s Society say the plan – with the agreement of patients – could enable them to have more freedom but be found quicker if they get lost.

The charity has called for a debate on the ethics of gaining consent in a proposal the government believes would allow people to lead “fuller lives.?

A significant proportion of people with the condition, up to 60%, often walk about outside and an estimated 40% have got lost in the past.

Science Minister Malcolm Wicks said sufferers would gain the freedom to “roam around their communities? without their families suffering the anxiety that such wandering can currently cause.

Neil Hunt, who is the chief executive of the Alzheimer’s Society, said he believed the technology could offer benefits to people with dementia and their carers.

However, he added: “There is a careful balance to strike between empowering people and restricting their movement and this technology can certainly never be used as an alternative for high quality dementia care.?

The charity Help the Aged also backed the plan in principle but said it must always be determined by choice.

Policy Officer Elizabeth McLennan said: “Tagging could potentially allow people with dementia the chance to retain their freedom and help to keep them safe at the same time.?

Latest figures show that there are about 700,000 people in the UK with some form of dementia but experts say this could reach 1.7m by 2051.


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