Utah sheriff proposes fitting Alzheimer’s patients with criminal tracking anklets

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A sheriff’s office in northern Utah has a novel idea to keep track of Alzheimer’s patients: Put them in ankle monitors that trace their every move.

The Associated Press reports that Davis County Deputy Sheriff Kevin Fielding first raised the idea. He said the monitors, which are identical to those attached to criminals who are put on house arrest or parole, would keep the patients from wandering and harming themselves. And that in turn would save taxpayers money because police wouldn’t be called to search down the wanderers as frequently, AP reports.

AP reports that industry officials with the Alzheimer’s Association aren’t supportive of the plan. They claim the ankle devices are too bulky and that dementia patients — who are already reluctant to wear tracking chains on their wrists and around their necks — certainly wouldn’t see the criminal version as a welcome substitute.

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