Ernest Thompson, wrote the original stage play of On Golden Pond and adapted it for the Mark Rydell 1981 film. Henry Fonda, in his last role, plays a prickly English professor; Norman Thayer, at the disagreeable age of 80. Visiting his summer house by a lake, Norman suffers the disorienting effects of dementia getting lost in a strawberry patch mere feet from his front door.
Its been thirty-years since the movie was screened and we barely know much more about dementia than we did then. No cure has been found and treatments have proven to be only mildly helpful as the condition is aggressively progressive ultimately rendering the victims lost within themselves.
Dementia may take many forms – more than seventy – and its effects can be felt at any age. The symptoms and behaviors of the various forms of the illness progress over long spans – often twenty years or more – placing ever greater demands on family caregivers of which there are more than fifteen million today in the US alone.
What we do know of dementia is that the aging boomer generation population will force the number of the afflicted and their demands for support to balloon to staggering proportions. The toll of the epidemic for the nation, their caregivers and the demented will overwhelm the systems and services in place today.
Sundowning is a tragic aspect of dementia. As the day moves to night something misfires in the minds of the victims and they become disoriented often eloping from facilities, or while out and about and yes even picking strawberries. The problem is that they cannot find their way home.
As night approaches they become invisible and often succumb to the elements before they are found less than a thousand feet from home.
Locating the lost has been a mission for GPS technology company; GTX Corp GTX Corp (OTCBB: GTXO) and its CEO Patrick Bertagna for years. This month though that mission will be completed with the retail availability of a discreet 2-way GPS device embedded within a comfort shoe GPS Shoe technology manufactured by Aetrex Worldwide and supported by MedicAlert www.medicalert.org and Onmilink Systems www.omnilink.com to provide secure, real-time, location based services to caregivers offering them peace of mind and the afflicted with a better quality of life as they will not need to be confined to protect them from their debilities.
Some may see this service as an invasion of privacy. We see it as life-saving search and rescue. Ask yourself, if it was your parent and you had the shoes would you tie the laces.