Mobility scooters to get 'trackers'

A university has announced mobility scooters could soon be equipped with tracking technology, allowing older and more vulnerable people to leave their homes without fear of getting lost.

The small device would transmit the person's location via mobile phone technology to local authority care providers, claim researchers at De Montfort University in Leicester (DMU) and the University of Lincoln .

The project, named "Integrating mobility vehicles and devices with smart homes", is being led by Dr Eric Goodyer, from De Montfort University, and Dr Amr Ahmed, of the University of Lincoln.

Elderly people are already helped by assisted living technology in their homes, with systems ranging from simple pendant alarms to devices which monitor behaviour and can raise the alarm in the event of falls or medical emergencies.

But Dr Goodyer and Dr Ahmed said it was not just important that people felt safe in their own home, but also when they leave the house.

The new device will help care staff find the person in an emergency.

The use of mobile phone technology to help people when they are away from their homes is known as mobile telecare.

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