Canadian police consider GPS for people with Alzheimer's

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Police in Montreal are studying the possibility of offering GPS bracelets to people suffering from Alzheimer's disease, an official told AFP.

The Montreal Police Service (SPVM) is looking at ways to keep safe people suffering from diseases that degrade brain function, including memory.

Those who suffer from such diseases can often leave their homes without the ability to find their way back, putting them at risk of hunger and the cold.

"For us, the priority is the safety of the population. In cases where citizens go missing because of Alzheimer's, we want to get involved as quickly as possible to return them," Daniel Rousseau, the police official heading community action strategies, told AFP on Tuesday.

Last month, a 73-year-old woman suffering from Alzheimer's was found dead in the snow after a three-day search.

The SPVM study will analyze the costs of offering GPS bracelets, as well as the ethical and legal implications of any such measure.

GPS bracelets are already used by Canadian authorities, particularly to keep track of prisoners who are on conditional release.

According to the Montreal Alzheimer's Society, a person suffering from the disease has a one in two chance of being injured or even dying if they are not discovered within 12 hours of going missing.

GPS or Global Positioning System bracelets use a satellite system to precisely identify an individual's location.

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