4 Tracking Devices So You Never Lose Your Elderly Parents5 min read
Here’s how you can keep your elderly parents safe without being too intrusive.
I don’t know about your grandparents, but Grandpa Tng is someone who loves wandering around outside and exploring new places during his free time (which is all the time for him).
He’d usually leave the house very early in the morning and only come back during the late afternoon, without telling anyone where he’s going. With his age catching up to him, Mum and Dad are worried that he might get lost, and not be able to find his way home.
Image source: Pexels
To help my parents get peace of mind, I went online to search for tracking devices, so they can keep tabs on Gong Gong’s whereabouts. Of course, he has a mobile phone (iPhone 12 some more hor) that can be used to reach him. But alamak, he often forgets to bring it out with him. So I thought a tracking device would be better.
If you have the same concerns as we do, here are 4 tracking devices you can consider getting:
Image source: Unsplash
The AirTag is a tracking device specially designed for Apple users because it taps on the “Find My” network owned by Apple. When you try to locate the AirTag, it sends out a Bluetooth signal to Apple’s network for nearby Apple devices to pick up and pinpoint where the AirTag is.
Although it was designed to track objects such as keys, wallets, or even bicycles, you can also place the AirTag in the pockets or bags of your loved ones, so you can keep tabs on where they are. However, do take note that the AirTag does not have an in-built GPS function. This means that you will not be able to get real-time tracking updates, especially if the person is constantly on the move.
Another issue you may face, is if your loved ones stubbornly refuse to carry the device with them when they head out. Well, if that’s the case, here are some nice Apple AirTag accessories which might help entice them to get on board with the idea. These accessories come in different colours and can be transformed into a keychain or as a watch strap! With these stylish designs, hopefully Ah Gong will want to proudly bring it along with him on his morning walks.
Samsung Galaxy SmartTag
Image source: Samsung
If you are #TeamAndroid and have a Samsung Galaxy phone instead, you can get the Samsung Galaxy SmartTag! It basically works the same as Apple’s AirTag, but it taps on Samsung’s own network. The SmartTag can even be used when the device is offline, and it stores a history of where the tag has been, in case you need to trace back your loved ones’ footsteps.
Besides being able to track your loved ones or items, the SmartTags can double up as smart home devices! SmartTags can control various smart devices in your house with just a click of a button. This means that you can turn on the lights in your home, even before you step inside.
However, it is important to note that the SmartTag only works with Samsung Galaxy phones. If used as a smart home device, the home appliances you would like to control wirelessly also need to be registered with Samsung’s SmartThings app.
Image source: Tile
What if you don’t have an Apple or a Samsung Galaxy mobile phone? No worries, you have Tile, which works on both iOS and Android!
Tile uses Bluetooth to make a connection with your device. Once the connection is made, it taps on the GPS function of your device to update where the Tile device is. Since it relies on the GPS function of another phone, this also means that the device can only be located when it is near other devices that use the Tile app. So if Ah Gong (who has the Tile device on him) is in an area where there are not many other Tile app users around, you will not be able to get updates of his movement as frequently as you may like.
Cube GPS Tracker
Image source: Lazada
Although the devices I’ve mentioned are easy to use and compatible with phones, one common feature is that they do not support real-time tracking of the device they are attached to. And this might be tricky especially if you are trying to track, say, an elderly with dementia trying to find his or her way back home. In such cases, you would want constant updates to know if he or she is on the right way home.
If you need such a heavy-duty device, you can consider getting the Cube GPS Tracker. This allows you to know exactly where your loved one is to the second, even if he or she is in a deserted area without other people or smart devices. You can also share your Cube GPS device across multiple accounts, so your other family members or even friends can see the device’s location. These functions can ensure peace of mind for you and your family, when you are not physically with your loved ones.
However, do take note that the Cube GPS Tracker is a little more pricey, because it requires you to pay for a subscription plan in its Cube Tracker app.
Keeping an eye on your parents or grandparents may be difficult, especially when the older generations really value their independence. With these devices, you can now be more discreet when keeping tabs on them, and they will not feel like they have to report their whereabouts to you every day. It’s a win-win situation!
The eldest of the Tng family. Smart, buff, responsible, and very single. Bobby works in IT in the civil service and is a loyal son, brother and friend. Like his father, he is always brewing with ideas and his greatest wish is to be an entrepreneur one day.