We can now thank high school student, Kenneth Shinozuka, for inventing a device that will help Alzheimer’s patients everywhere. Inspired by his grandfather who has had Alzheimer’s since Kenneth was 4-years-old, the then 15-year-old was troubled by his grandfather wandering off at night and feared for his safety.
In fact, his grandfather wandered out onto the freeway one night, but luckily wasn’t harmed. The Shinozuka family was woken up by police pounding on their door, which gave them a literal wake-up call to do something about the grandfather.
Kenneth invented a device that alerts caretakers if the Alzheimer’s individual walks off at any given time. The device is a little strip that is attached to socks. If the person wearing the socks gets out of bed at night and walks somewhere, a designated person is alerted via their smartphone once the person’s foot first hits the ground. The device has been tested at a local nursing home and has been a great success.
The ease of use is a quality that caretakers appreciate, especially since smartphones are so common now, and they don’t have to buy any extra bulky equipment. In fact, the strip in the sock has had a 100% success rate with Kenneth’s grandfather and with the people in the nursing home. The Shinozuka family hopes that the success of the device continues and that it can spread to many other places in order to help people suffering from Alzheimer’s and others who may need it to stay safe.