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Question about specific Apple Watch suitability

jcmc

macrumors member
Original poster
Nov 16, 2008
91
3
Hi,

Watch is the one area of Apple products I have never really taken much interest so excuse my lack of knowledge. I was wondering whether anyone could let me know whether they think the following use case would work well with this product.

My girlfriend’s father is elderly and suffers from dementia. He’s prone to wandering off sometimes so she bought a tracker which is a pebble sort of shape and clips onto his key ring. It has specific functionality specific for this type of scenario, but it is somewhat unreliable and costly in terms of the data it chews through. So I wanted to see if the Apple Watch comes close enough to serve as a possible alternative.

Here’s the requirements:

1) Constant Tracking. With the tracker you can log in online and view its location on a map. I assume there’s a Watch equivalent of Find My Phone / Mac etc?
2) Geofencing. We have tried to set this up so that we can define an area - say, 1000m - and an alert is triggered if the tracker strays more than distance from base. This works terribly on the tracker to be honest, but I was just wondering if there’s any sort of inbuilt alert system that can be set up.

The Apple Watch is undoubtedly more practical in certain other ways: waterproof so he can wear it all the time, including the bath; fall detection; can function as a phone to contact him - is there other inbuilt functionality that you might think could be advantageous here?

Thanks,

C.
 

iPhysicist

macrumors 65816
Nov 9, 2009
1,335
976
Dresden
The watch alone is quite costly for this specific and presumably sole use case. At this point in time he would need an iPhone along with the watch for it to (at least set it up and) function properly. The LTE needs a separate contract with your provider and that is (as I read here ) mostly around 20 US$ a month. Only the LTE watch can be used (tracked) without the iPhone nearby. If you have a spare iPhone of at least 6 or above you could use it as stationary phone at home logged into wifi so it can connect to the watch. That is for the technical part but I don't know what location "find my friends" would return if you query it. The phone or the last location of the moving watch? But this can be answered by people who own the LTE watch.
As far as I know there is not possibility of geofencing yet but maybe there is a 3rd party app that covers this.
 
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jcmc

macrumors member
Original poster
Nov 16, 2008
91
3
Wouldn’t have an issue with paying for the LTE contract as his current tracker needs something similar anyway, but I thought the LTE version could operate pretty much as a stand alone unit without the iPhone dependency (beyond setting it up at outset)?
 
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iPhysicist

macrumors 65816
Nov 9, 2009
1,335
976
Dresden
Wouldn’t have an issue with paying for the LTE contract as his current tracker needs something similar anyway, but I thought the LTE version could operate pretty much as a stand alone unit without the iPhone dependency (beyond setting it up at outset)?
That is correct but the the telephone number the watch gets is not the same as the iPhone has but they are linked to one another. You couldn't set the watch up with your phone without him getting access to your phone in some way. Maybe the next watch can be used standalone but as for now you would have to buy a phone and a watch to make it work.
 
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breezyf808

macrumors 6502
Mar 12, 2012
303
59
That is correct but the the telephone number the watch gets is not the same as the iPhone has but they are linked to one another. You couldn't set the watch up with your phone without him getting access to your phone in some way. Maybe the next watch can be used standalone but as for now you would have to buy a phone and a watch to make it work.
This, and also you will have to pretty much charge the LTE watch almost every day since it uses more power for cellular connectivity.
Apple Watch benefits a lot of people, but I think having dementia will be more difficult to remember to even put the watch on.
Sorry for the negativity, but I know lots of friends whom had relatives that has this issue and how hard it is to monitor it.
 
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jcmc

macrumors member
Original poster
Nov 16, 2008
91
3
Charging it every day wouldn’t be an issue as his current tracker needs constant charging, however the linking to the iPhone is indeed an issue: both myself and my girlfriend have iPhones but her Dad doesn’t. Perhaps the next version then.

Thanks for your help.
 
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breezyf808

macrumors 6502
Mar 12, 2012
303
59
Charging it every day wouldn’t be an issue as his current tracker needs constant charging, however the linking to the iPhone is indeed an issue: both myself and my girlfriend have iPhones but her Dad doesn’t. Perhaps the next version then.

Thanks for your help.
I applaud your effort on helping your elder and hope when we come to that age/issues we all would have the same support.
 
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iPhysicist

macrumors 65816
Nov 9, 2009
1,335
976
Dresden
I know that the are parents that use some kind of tracking software that keeps track of their children’s phone. Maybe this route is more promising? Best of luck that you find a way to help your girlfriends Dad.
 
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Isamilis

macrumors 6502a
Apr 3, 2012
816
166
I would suggest, buy him iPhone with good battery life. Ask him to always bring the phone with waist bag, and use find friends to locate him. Bonus, he could call and receive call, video call, and take picture etc etc.
iPhone is less fragile compared to watch.
 
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Relentless Power

macrumors Nehalem
Jul 12, 2016
34,616
35,999
I would suggest, buy him iPhone with good battery life. Ask him to always bring the phone with waist bag, and use find friends to locate him. Bonus, he could call and receive call, video call, and take picture etc etc.
iPhone is less fragile compared to watch.

I also think an iPhone would be a more suitable device in this situation, but where I disagree with you, the iPhone isn’t necessarily ‘less fragile’, theSport Apple Watch is plenty durable, and you can even add a third party ‘bumper case’ to the watch that will surround the casing to help against any type of impact.
 
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spooklog

macrumors regular
Aug 10, 2015
205
179
New Hampshire
To the best of my knowledge, the Apple Watch 4 uses ATT's NumberSync technology. This means that when the watch is out of proximity to the iPhone, it will use that iPhone's number to make and receive calls. The LTE functionality is tied to the iPhone only in that respect.

My main concern with your post was about water resistance. The latest version of the watch is considered water resistant to about three feet. But to maintain the integrity of the watch, it must be "cleared" of water by a process of turning the crown until the watch tell you to stop. (Turning the crown somehow drives out any water.) Remembering to do this after every exposure to water is tedious and might be difficult for those with memory problems.
 
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rocknblogger

macrumors 68020
Apr 2, 2011
2,337
474
New Jersey
I also don’t think the Apple Watch would be ideal for a number of reasons. Have you considered using Trackrs?
its much cheaper and you can use more than one. Put one on his keychain, one in his wallet, and possibly anything else he might always have on him. Maybe even make a necklace for him?

Good luck with whatever you choose. My mother-in-law lived with us for the last 5 years of her life so I know how difficult it can be to care for an elder. You’re doing a good thing in helping out.

Hi,

Watch is the one area of Apple products I have never really taken much interest so excuse my lack of knowledge. I was wondering whether anyone could let me know whether they think the following use case would work well with this product.

My girlfriend’s father is elderly and suffers from dementia. He’s prone to wandering off sometimes so she bought a tracker which is a pebble sort of shape and clips onto his key ring. It has specific functionality specific for this type of scenario, but it is somewhat unreliable and costly in terms of the data it chews through. So I wanted to see if the Apple Watch comes close enough to serve as a possible alternative.

Here’s the requirements:

1) Constant Tracking. With the tracker you can log in online and view its location on a map. I assume there’s a Watch equivalent of Find My Phone / Mac etc?
2) Geofencing. We have tried to set this up so that we can define an area - say, 1000m - and an alert is triggered if the tracker strays more than distance from base. This works terribly on the tracker to be honest, but I was just wondering if there’s any sort of inbuilt alert system that can be set up.

The Apple Watch is undoubtedly more practical in certain other ways: waterproof so he can wear it all the time, including the bath; fall detection; can function as a phone to contact him - is there other inbuilt functionality that you might think could be advantageous here?

Thanks,

C.
 
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jcmc

macrumors member
Original poster
Nov 16, 2008
91
3
Thanks for all the advice and I will check out other options including Trackrs.
 
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