London

Alzheimer's patients tracked with satellite technology

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Media captionThere are 69,000 people with Alzheimer's in London

An east London borough is using satellite technology to help keep track of Alzheimer's patients.

Havering Council is giving those with the disorder the On Track device, that transmits a GPS signal, which straps onto their wrists.

The signal is tracked by a control centre and if they go missing they can be called, or their carer informed of where they are.

The council said about 40 people are currently trailling the system.

Havering has the largest number of residents aged over 50 in London, with about a third of the approximate 230,000 population in that age group.

Brian Davage's wife Jill suffers from Alzheimer's disease and has gone missing several times and she is one those wearing the device.

'Better way'

He said: "Your mind's at rest when she goes out with it on. That is the main thing.

"You know exactly where she is."

Michael White, leader of Havering Council, said: "Keeping people out of hospital is not only good if you like from a financial point of view, it's also good for the person to allow them to stay in their home.

"That has got to be a better way of caring for people in their old age."

There are 69,000 people with Alzheimer's in London and that figure is expected to rise to 80,000 by 2021.

If the project is a success it could be extended to other parts of the capital.

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