Little Kenneth Shinozuka was only 4 years in age when Alzheimer’s disease started manifesting in his grandfather, Deming. Deming began roaming around in the night a couple of years after that, and started exhibiting conspicuous indications of the brain disorder. He once even made his way onto the freeway during one of his night roaming episodes, an extremely dangerous situation. Shinozuka, 15 years old at the time, decided that enough was enough and determined to take action. He couldn’t risk his grandfather endangering himself like that ever again so Shinozuka attempted to find some sort of tool that would notify him immediately in the event that Deming left his bed in the night. Unfortunately, he couldn’t find such a thing. Which prompted him to handle things on his own.
Shinozuka took action and made a sensor capable of responding to pressure. He placed the sensor on Alzheimer’s disease patients’ socks. As soon as their feet hit the floor, the sensors responded by giving signals via cell phone. This meant that relatives and caretakers were notified of roaming episodes as soon as they started, regardless of how late or how early it may have been. And so far the invention has been successful. It discovered all 437 instances of Deming’s roaming throughout the testing. These instances all occurred during the initial six months of the senior citizen sporting the handy socks at night as he rested. The sensor never sent any notifications that weren’t real either, which is good. Because it would suck to send your family cell phone alerts every time you stood up to pee in the middle of the night… Luckily they seemed to have worked their way around that.
Over five million people who live in the United States have Alzheimer’s disease, and that number is expected to continue increasing. His grandfather Deming is just one of many millions of people who have to deal with the stresses of Alzheimer’s disease on a daily basis. Roaming and wandering behaviors are highly common in people who have Alzheimer’s disease. They’re common in individuals who have dementia in general, regardless of whether or not Alzheimer’s specifically is part of the equation.
Shinozuka’s sensor is supposed to make life easier and more convenient for the hard-working individuals who are in charge of looking after elderly with Alzheimer’s. Shinozuka experienced just how difficult it can be to cope with. Since Deming became incapable of walking on his own, eating on his own and writing on his own, his aunt had to assist him with all of those things. Which left her with a all to much on her plate. She’s Deming’s primary caregiver and therefore is constantly on duty, caring and watching after him.
The sock is supposed to increase safety in people who have Alzheimer’s disease and also to encourage peace of mind in the people who are in their lives. Shinozuka noted that his sock sensor is just the beginning, he someday wants to find a cure for Alzheimer’s disease entirely. One step at a time my friend, but these socks are an excellent start.