"Wandatrak Pendants" are available from the Wandersearch Rotorua Charitable Trust:
For information on eligibility and use, please contact Gaal:
firstname.lastname@example.org or 027 - 347 2991
For people caring for someone with Dementia there is often a real fear they may wander off and not find their way home again. This is not only incredibly dangerous for that person but extremely stressful for the carer or care facility staff who may not know where to start looking or have the resources to find them quickly.
Wandatrak Pendants do not stop people from wandering away but they do help to find them. The pendant is worn around the client’s neck in the form of a necklace. If it cannot be worn around the neck, other options can be considered but the effectiveness of the device is greatly reduced.
The pendant contains a tracking device which emits a signal and is easily traced using a receiver unit. If someone becomes lost, please dial 111. Each pendant transmits a unique frequency and it is easily distinguishable from any other pendant. They have a tracking range of 700-900 meters in most situations and the pendant transmits an inaudible signal every one and a half seconds.
When Police are notified of a lost person with a Wandatrak Pendant, they use a signal receiver unit with a directional antenna to track the signal. In most cases the person wearing the pendant can be located within 30 minutes of deploying the signal receiver unit - within city boundaries – depending on where the person normally lives and the location of the tracking unit. A missing person is often found in less time than it takes to set up a land-based search and rescue effort.
The Police are your first port of call. Contact the Police – dial 111 – and let them know the missing person has Dementia and is wearing a tracking device. The Police will then notify LandSAR, the Land Search & Rescue Squad. LandSAR squad members are trained in the use of Wandatrak Pendants. They will have access to a Profile Sheet with the client’s personal details and a recent photo.
There are several other ways care partners may be able to stop or reduce the frequency that a person with dementia/cognitive impairment wanders, or if someone does wander, enable them to stay safe.
- Ensure your section is fully fenced with a latched gate to allow for safe walking within the home section.
- Have an identity bracelet made or sew labels into clothing. Include information such as their name and your telephone number.
- Investigate options for installing one of the many different types of electronic devices that alert you to a person wandering away from a designated area. Consider bells and buzzers which are activated by external doors opening. Install a chain latch or similar door locks. Visit the Life Unlimited store in Rotorua to learn more about the range of products they have available.
Contact Life Unlimited Store, Rotorua (07) 349 2513 or the Kiatronics team over in Tauranga (07) 07 578 7739 for more information.
- Alert neighbours and local shopkeepers to the problem so they are aware of the situation and know to keep a watchful eye out.
- Provide meaningful or physical activities to keep the person occupied.
Care of the Pendant: The Wandatrak Pendant is waterproof so we do not advise removing it when a recipient showers. However, care needs to be taken with the pendant around salt water as this affects the signal strength (salt particles slowly penetrate the unit, make the signal defective and this will render the device useless). It is essential the battery is changed every 6 months. The NZ Police and/or LandSAR volunteers will contact the carer or care facility when a replacement is due and will organise the change. Client details and the identifying photograph will also be updated at this time.
It is important that the team at the Wandersearch Rotorua Charitable Trust is notified of:
- any changes in the contact details of the person wearing the pendant in between battery changes;
- any significant changes in the person's habits/fears/ preferences that may affect wandering or a search mission;
- if the person is away from that address for any extended period of time; or
- if there is any damage to the pendant so that it can be fixed for you.