It’s no secret that Alzheimer’s and dementia have the ability to rob seniors of their independence.
But a new pilot project underway in China is aiming to alleviate some of the stressors, such as wandering, that come with memory loss.
About 50 people in the Dingxiang Community in Hefei, Anhui province have been equipped with QR code badges that contain their personal information.
The words “Please scan to help me back home” are printed on the stamp-sized badges. Embedded in each QR code is information about the owner, including their ID card number, family contact phone numbers, and the district where they reside.
As long as good Samaritans and passersby have smartphones, they can scan the badge to help a senior who is lost find their way home safely.
The goal is to have 1,400 residents, aged 60 and older, using them in the future.
“I will wear it every time I get out. A big headache for us old people is wandering off,” says 84-year-old Qiao Zonglian.
Seniors carry the badge, which is made of hard-wearing plastic, or if they prefer they can have another version stitched onto their clothing.
By the end of 2012, the country had 194 million people aged 60 or older, which is close to 15 percent of China’s population. That figure is expected to reach 243 million in 2020.
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