If you have a SmartPhone, use location finding apps to allow trusted family, friends and caregivers to find you if you’re lost or wandering.
These apps allow trusted family or friends to:
Request your location online through a web browser or an app,
Receive alert messages when you leave a safe location or arrive at a specific location, and
See your location history for ideas on where to search if you are missing and your SmartPhone is offline or has been left behind.
WHAT YOU WILL NEED
A voice, text and data services plan,
(Exception: Data not required for Apple's "Find-My-iPhone" feature on iCloud)
A location sharing app, and
Someone to check on your location.
The apps recommended below are free. The Live360 app also has a premium subscription option for $25US per year.
There are no additional costs if you already have a SmartPhone with a voice, text and data services plan.
WHAT TO LOOK FOR
Apps that only share location upon request (saves battery power).
Option to send location change alerts (protection for wandering).
Location History (breadcrumbs to inform search if missing).
An app that only requires one-time set-up and activation (usability, reliability).
RECOMMENDED PRODUCTS AND SERVICES
Apple’s Find My Friends app or
Access to Find-My-iPhone on your iCloud Account
For Androids (All Other SmartPhones):
Google’s Trusted Contacts if you don't need location change alerts.
Live360 for Android owners who do need location change alerts.
TIP: Consider Augmenting Your SmartPhone or a SmartWatch with a Medic Alert Bracelet if you notice an increase in disorientation or wandering.
Medic Alert bracelets are a low-cost, simple and proven safety backup that can include a 24*7 support number to call for assistance in getting you home.
WHAT TO AVOID
Constant location monitoring and updates.
Example: Location Sharing in Google Maps. It uses too much battery power.
Requirement to regularly open or re-activate the app.
Example: Live360 is a good app but must be opened daily to work.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS (FAQ)
Will it work if the phone is turned off or battery not charged?
No. When the device is turned off, the battery is dead, or Location Sharing is turned off, the only information available is last known location or location history. Some apps limit number of days and duration of location history.
Can I turn 'location sharing' off from my SmartPhone?
Yes. You are in control.
Can I use my SmartWatch instead of carrying my Smartphone?
Yes, for the Apple Watch Series 2 (GPS only) & Series 3 (GPS & Cellular).
Possibly for some Android Wear and other proprietary watches with GPS or Cellular but I’m still investigating. I'll publish a new post on these types of watches soon.
WANT MORE DETAIL?
Click the button below to go to the Collection Safety Tactics for Wandering on The HUB. There you will find:
More details on the apps recommended,
A requirements checklist to help you decide what app features are important for you, and
How to take advantage of access to iCloud or Google accounts while protecting your privacy.
Wishing you all the best,