Dementia :: Balance needed in electronic tagging debate

Responding to comments by Science and Technology Minister Malcolm Wicks, the Alzheimer’s Society welcomed the debate on electronic tagging, saying that while the proposal to track the movements of people with dementia could have potential benefits, consideration of ethical and practical issues was needed.

Neil Hunt, chief executive of the Alzheimer’s Society, says,

‘Electronic tagging can certainly help people with dementia achieve greater independence and dignity, and reduce the concern and worry that carers may have about the person they care for. But we need to strike a balance between the benefits to an individual and the ethics of electronic tagging.

‘There are a whole range of exciting technologies available to support people with dementia. Electronic tagging may give people with dementia greater freedom, but we need to talk to people with dementia and their carers to understand what is right for them.’

A new helpcard recently launched by the Alzheimer’s Society provides an effective and discrete tool for people to explain their diagnosis when they are out on their own. Carried inside a purse or wallet it includes contact details for a carer, friend or relative and supports people with dementia to maintain their independence.

1 in 3 older people will end their lives with a form of dementia.

700,000 people in the UK have a form of dementia, more than half have Alzheimer’s disease. In less than 20 years nearly a million people will be living with dementia. This will soar to 1.7 million people by 2051. 1 in 5 people over 80 have dementia.

The Alzheimer’s Society champions the rights of people living with dementia and those who care for them. The Alzheimer’s Society works in England, Wales and Northern Ireland.

As a charity, the Alzheimer’s Society depends on the generosity of the public to help it care, research and campaign for people with dementia. You can donate now by calling 0845 306 0898 or visiting

The Alzheimer’s Society Dementia Helpline number is 0845 300 0336

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