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More independence through tagging for elderly

19th April 2007

A government proposal has suggested that older people with dementia could be tagged so that their families do not have to worry about their whereabouts.

Malcolm Wicks, science minister, said satellite technology such as tagging and satnavs could enable older people to have more freedom in their movements.

But he stressed the need for permission to be given from older people before they are equipped with monitoring systems.

He told the BBC: "By knowing where they are they could have the safety and security that they would wish for themselves and certainly their families would feel more reassured."

Kate Jopling, Help the Aged's senior policy manager, said: "Clearly at first glance these proposals may smack of the Big Brother state, but we shouldn't dismiss the potential of new technologies to afford dignity and opportunity to older people.

She said that such technologies could in fact enable dementia sufferers to live more independent lives.