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Persons with Dementia and Their Caregivers Using GPS


The aim of the study is to generate knowledge on the use of Global Positioning Systems (GPS) to support autonomy and independence for persons with dementia. By studying a larger cohort of persons with dementia (n=208) and their caregivers, this study provides essential knowledge for planning and implementing GPS technology as a part of public health care services. Commercially available GPS technology was provided to the cohort of 208 persons with dementia from nineteen different Norwegian municipalities. The participants used GPS when performing outdoor activities as part of their daily life during a period of time between 2012 and 2014. Their family caregivers were instructed on how to use the GPS technology for locating the participants. The study documents that using GPS for locating persons with dementia provide increased safety for the person with dementia, their family caregivers and their professional caregivers. Furthermore the results confirm that by using GPS, persons with dementia may maintain their autonomy, enjoy their freedom and continue their outdoor activities despite the progression of the disease. Preconditions for successful implementation are that health professionals are trained to assess the participant's needs, that ethical dilemmas are considered, that caregivers have adequate knowledge about using the technology and that procedures and routines for administrating the GPS and locating persons with dementia are established. Early intervention and close collaboration between persons with dementia, family caregivers and professional caregivers are important for successful implementation of GPS in public health care.


Academic article


  • Regional research fund Hovedstaden / 234981
  • Research Council of Norway (RCN) / 222069




  • Tone Øderud
  • Bjørg Thomassen Landmark
  • Sissel Eriksen
  • Anne Berit Fossberg
  • Sigrid Aketun
  • May Omland
  • Karl-Gerhard Hem
  • Elisabeth Østensen
  • Dag Ausen


  • SINTEF Digital / Health Research
  • Drammen kommune
  • Bærum kommune
  • City of Oslo
  • Skien kommune
  • University of Oslo
  • SINTEF Digital / Smart Sensors and Microsystems



Published in

Studies in Health Technology and Informatics




IOS Press




212 - 221

View this publication at Cristin