Choosing Between a GPS Pendant and GPS Watch for Seniors with Dementia or Fall Risk

When deciding between a GPS pendant and a GPS watch for a senior loved one with dementia or at risk of falling, the most critical factor to consider is which device the senior is most likely to wear consistently. Based on practical experience and user feedback, the GPS watch often emerges as the preferred choice. Here's a detailed comparison to help you make an informed decision.

GPS Watch: The Preferred Choice for Many Seniors

**Comfort and Acceptance:**
- **Familiarity and Pride:** Seniors are generally more inclined to wear a watch, especially if it looks stylish and offers a sense of pride. A GPS watch can be presented as a "special new cool watch," making it more likely for the senior to wear it willingly.
- **Less Intrusive:** Unlike pendants, which can feel like an additional, uncomfortable accessory, watches are a familiar item that most people are accustomed to wearing daily.

- **Informative Display:** The watch comes with a screen that can display useful information, such as battery life and power status. This feature can provide reassurance to both the wearer and their caregivers.
- **Communication Tools:** Advanced GPS watches may include a dial pad (which can be locked if not needed) and the ability to save contacts, facilitating easy communication.

**Daily Use and Maintenance:**
- **Routine Charging:** While GPS watches typically require nightly charging due to their screen and multiple features, integrating this into a daily routine can be manageable with the right support.

GPS Pendant: A Practical Alternative

**Battery Life:**
- **Extended Use:** One of the significant advantages of a GPS pendant is its longer battery life. Without a screen, a pendant can last several days on a single charge, reducing the frequency of charging to a couple of times per week.

- **Bulk and Comfort:** Pendants can sometimes be bulkier and less comfortable, making them less appealing for continuous wear. They might be perceived as an additional device, which some seniors may resist.

- **Basic Functionality:** GPS pendants are generally more straightforward with fewer features, focusing primarily on location tracking and emergency alerts. This simplicity can be an advantage for seniors who prefer minimalistic devices.


In summary, while both GPS pendants and GPS watches have their merits, the GPS watch often stands out as the better option for seniors with dementia or at risk of falling. The watch's familiarity, multifunctional features, and stylish design make it a device that seniors are more likely to wear consistently. However, if battery life and less frequent charging are your primary concerns, a GPS pendant might be worth considering.

Ultimately, the decision should be based on the senior's personal preferences, lifestyle, and specific needs. Engaging the senior in the decision-making process and trying out both devices, if possible, can also help ensure the best choice for their safety and well-being.