GPS Trackers for People with Dementia

GPS trackers prevent your loved one from wandering and help you find them if they get lost. We found trackers with the best features for comfort, battery life, and accuracy.
Best overall
AngelSense_Product_Image
AngelSense
  • pro
    Emergency button
  • pro
    Geofencing
Best battery life
Tranquil
  • pro
    Emergency button
  • pro
    Geofencing
Best for budgets
Theora Connect product image
Theora Connect
  • pro
    Emergency button
  • pro
    Geofencing
Pro monitoring pick
Medical Guardian Mini Guardian GPS medical alert system
Medical Guardian
  • pro
    Emergency button
  • con
    No geofencing
Discreet pick
SmartSole product image
SmartSole
  • con
    No emergency button
  • pro
    Geofencing
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AngelSense was designed for children with special needs in mind. But parents of special needs children and caregivers of people with dementia share many common challenges. AngelSense addresses the needs of both groups.

The AngelSense GPS device tracks your loved one without limiting their freedom. It attaches securely to clothing and shoes or can go around their waist like a fanny pack. The device links to a caregiver app where you can set up safe zones, get custom alerts, and even talk to them directly through a two-way speaker.

We've chosen a few other GPS trackers ideal for people with Alzheimer's or dementia to help you find one with the best features and price for you.



Compare GPS trackers for dementia and Alzheimer's disease

Each GPS locator uses a companion app that shows a map with your loved one’s location. A few other common features in most (but not all) of these GPS devices include geofencing, SOS buttons, and fasteners that keep the device on your loved one.

Product
Best for
Lowest monthly price
Equipment price
Activation fee
Battery life
Learn more
Best overall

$33.33

$229.00

$59.00

24 hours

Best battery life

$39.95*

$749.95

None

7 days

Best for budgets

$29.97

$247.97

$39.97

24 hours

Professional monitoring pick

$29.95

$149.95

None

120 hours

Discreet pick

$29.95

$359.00

None

48 hours

*$39.95 monthly price with annual plan, paid in advance. Month-to-month service starts at $44.95.

All pricing including Amazon.com price as of post date. Read full disclaimer

Reviews of the best GPS tracking devices for dementia

1. AngelSense: Best overall

Best overall
AngelSense_Product_Image
AngelSense
Starting from
$229 + $33.33
/mo

AngelSense is a small device that attaches to your loved one’s clothes or waistband, using safety lock pins to stay in place. We love that all of AngelSense’s wearable technology is comfy for older adults and children alike.

A person with dementia can wear the device on their clothes or with the specialized waist belt all day without any irritating seams or tags. The waist belt is a unique addition for GPS locators, especially for people who have trouble keeping their clothing on.

pro
Pros
pro Comfortable all-day wear
pro Unique
pro Auto-answer with two-way talk
pro Audible alarm
pro SOS button
con
Cons
con Not waterproof
con Needs to be charged daily

The AngelSense app is the control center for the device. These are a few of its features:

  • Set up virtual fences
  • Get regular GPS location updates
  • Create custom alerts 
  • Retrace their steps 
  • See their current location

In addition, its audio features let you listen in to their environment or speak to them directly, regardless of whether they're able to answer your call or press the SOS button.

Unfortunately, AngelSense is not waterproof, but the sleeves can help keep water off the device while they’re outside.

Stand-out feature: Runner mode

Most important of all, AngelSense is the best GPS tracker for people with dementia for finding someone during an emergency. You can loop in friends or law enforcement for an all-hands-on-deck search. Everyone can see the device's location once you share the emergency tracking link directly from the app.

You'll get location updates every 10 seconds when you activate "runner mode," and you can also cause the device to emit an audible beep to help with tracking. AngelSense also leverages Wi-Fi signals for accurate indoor location tracking.

Learn more about pricing and features from our full AngelSense review

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2. Tranquil GPS Watch: Best battery life

Best battery life
Tranquil
Starting from
$749.95 + $39.95
/mo

The Tranquil GPS Watch was designed specifically for people with dementia. We love it because it's fully waterproof and lasts up to one week on a single charge. The Tranquil GPS Watch also has an auto-answer feature, an SOS button, and geofencing capabilities. 

pro
Pros
pro Disguised as a stylish wristwatch
pro Auto-answer with 2-way talk
pro SOS button
pro 30-day free trial
pro Optional locking strap
pro Free 2-day shipping
pro 1-week battery
con
Cons
con No audible alarm
con No in-app location sharing

It comes in four stylish designs, and you can purchase a locking strap to make sure your loved one doesn't try to take off the watch. 

The Tranquil GPS Watch ships to you for free in 2 days. Take advantage of the 30-day free trial to make sure it's right for you.

3. Theora Connect: Best for budgets

Best for budgets
Theora Connect product image
Theora Connect
Starting from
$247.97 + $29.97
/mo

Theora Connect is a GPS watch with the same core features as Tranquil and AngelSense: an SOS button, auto-answer with two-way talk, geofencing, and an optional locking strap.

Theora Connect stumbles into third place due to a shorter battery life (just 18 to 24 hours), no free trial, and charges for shipping and activation. It's also water resistant rather than waterproof. 

pro
Pros
pro Disguised as a stylish wristwatch
pro Pairs with a door alarm
pro Optional locking strap
pro Auto-answer with two-way talk
pro In-app location sharing
pro Pedometer and weather app
con
Cons
con Requires charging every day
con No free trial
con Activation and shipping fees

But it's not all bad news for Theora Connect—this GPS watch for people with dementia does have some unique features. It can pair with a door alarm to alert in-home caregivers to an elopement in progress. It also includes a pedometer, weather app, and changeable watch face. 

As with AngelSense, Theora Connect lets you loop in other caregivers in the app, giving your relatives or professional caregivers access to your loved one’s location. It’s a quick way to form search parties in your community.

4. Medical Guardian Mini Guardian: Professional monitoring pick

Professional monitoring pick
Medical Guardian Mini Guardian GPS medical alert system
Medical Guardian Mini Guardian
Starting from
$149.95 + $39.95
/mo

Medical Guardian's Mini Guardian is ideal for people who are in the early stages of dementia, live independently, and haven't experienced significant cognitive declines. It gives them access to professional monitors 24/7 at the push of a button.

pro
Pros
pro Three location technologies
pro Automatic fall detection
pro Professional monitoring
pro Caregiver app for tracking
con
Cons
con No safety lock
con No geofences

On the flip side, you can't set up any geofences or safe zones, but you can check their location at any time through the companion app. 

Learn more in our full Medical Guardian product guide.

5. SmartSole: Discreet GPS tracker

Discreet pick
SmartSole product image
SmartSole
Starting from
$359.00 + $29.95
/mo

If your loved one has a hard time with watches, belts, or clips, SmartSole is an alternative personal GPS tracker that could work for them. This unobtrusive device is disguised as a shoe insole that you can trim and fit to their favorite pair.

pro
Pros
pro Discreet design
pro Location history and mapping
pro Discounts available
con
Cons
con Basic app functions

SmartSoles are expensive up front and can cost up to $25 per month (depending on which plan you choose). Both plans offer basic location features to help you keep track of your loved one.

If you have a limited budget, there are discounts for ordering multiple pairs of insoles. You can also get a discount through some insurance companies (just ask your agent before you buy). SmartSole also has some helpful Medicare resources.

While SmartSole isn’t on the cutting edge of tech, its readings are accurate and easy to understand. We like that it’s a discreet way to care for a person with dementia without causing them discomfort or unwanted attention.

6. Jiobit: Budget alternative

Budget alternative
jiobit kids tracker
Jiobit
Starting from
$149.99 + $8.99
/mo

*Amazon.com price as of post date. Read full disclaimer

The Jiobit is a tiny tracker around the size of a cracker. Its small size makes it easy for the wearer to ignore or forget about and can clip onto belt loops, buttons, shoelaces, and keychains. Locking mechanisms are sold separately but won’t break the bank.

pro
Pros
pro Tiny and subtle design
pro Add multiple caregivers to app
pro Geofencing
pro Optional safety lock
pro Long battery life
con
Cons
con Contract required for cheaper plan
con No two-way talk

Jiobit gets the job done if you're pinching pennies, but it's not the best GPS tracker for people with dementia because it lacks a speaker. You can't talk to your loved one and ask them to wait for you or reassure them if they're scared. 

That said, Jiobit has an impressive battery life and has proved accurate in our tests.  

Learn more from our full Jiobit review.

Final word 

Whether you’re caring for a parent, grandparent, or other family member with dementia, you don’t have to go it alone.

Technology like GPS trackers and medical alert systems can help you along the way, and our top pick is AngelSense. But it's no replacement for support from friends, family, and community. The more help you have from the people around you, the better care you can provide to your loved one.

FAQs

Wandering is a common behavior for people with dementia like Alzheimer’s. It usually comes from stress or anxiety.1 

Common reasons for wandering includes looking for a lost item, running through an old routine, expressing a basic need, or being in a new or unfamiliar place. 

When people with dementia wander, it often comes from stress or fear. Creating a strict routine can help keep them comfortable and grounded. 

To prevent wandering, hide your car keys, add a chime on the exits to the home, or camouflage the door with a curtain or sticker decal

Pacing and restless wandering around the house are usually good indicators. If they talk to themselves, listen closely to what they say. Do they talk about places from their memories like their old office or home? Do they talk about needing to “go home” or “go get something”? 

These could be indicators that they’re feeling restless or anxious, which could cause them to wander or leave home. 

Like any emergency, having a plan in place before it happens will increase your chances of finding your loved one. 

  • Make sure they have some form of ID on them like a medical bracelet or necklace. These should hold details like who they are, where they live, and a brief description of their medical history. 
  • Tell others around you about your loved one’s condition. Neighbors, local police, and friends nearby may be able to help search your loved one. Have a recent photo handy in case they’re missing for more than 24 hours, and keep track of what they wear day to day.
  • Enroll them in the MedicAlert safe return program, which can create a customized missing persons report and share it with first responders.2

How we reviewed the best GPS trackers for people with dementia

We put a lot of thought into what makes the best GPS tracking device for someone with dementia. The main factors we landed on were comfort, battery life, and trackability. Plus, we knew it would be important to find devices that people with dementia couldn't easily remove.

We compared professionally-monitored and caregiver-monitored devices across more than 20 specs to find the best features and value. 

Learn more about how we approach reviews like this one on our methodology page.

Related articles on SafeWise


Sources

  1. Dana Sparks, The Mayo Clinic, “Alzheimer’s: Understand Wandering and How to Address It,” November 2020. Accessed November 3, 2022. 
  2. Natali Edmonds, Dementia Careblazers, “Know What To Do If Your Loved One Wanders Away,” April 2017. Accessed September 8, 2022.

Disclaimer

Product prices and availability are accurate as of the date/time indicated and are subject to change. Any price and availability information displayed on Amazon at the time of purchase will apply to the purchase of this product. Safewise.com utilizes paid Amazon links.

Certain content that appears on this site comes from Amazon. This content is provided “as is” and is subject to change or removal at any time.

Cathy Habas
Written by
Cathy Habas
With over eight years of experience as a content writer, Cathy has a knack for untangling complex information. Her natural curiosity and ability to empathize help Cathy offer insightful, friendly advice. She believes in empowering readers who may not feel confident about a purchase, project, or topic. Cathy earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in English from Indiana University Southeast and began her professional writing career immediately after graduation. She is a certified Safe Sleep Ambassador and has contributed to sites like Safety.com, Reviews.com, Hunker, and Thumbtack. Cathy’s pride and joy is her Appaloosa “Chacos.” She also likes to crochet while watching stand-up comedy specials on Netflix.

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