QR codes assist lost Chinese seniors in finding their way home

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Quick response codes printed on badges are assisting the elderly to be able to stay safe.

It is no secret that aging comes with a number of struggles that weren’t experienced throughout the earlier phases of adulthood, but a program in China is now working to use QR codes to help seniors to be able to avoid one of the scarier situations of which the elderly are at risk.

Challenges with mobility, false teeth, and bladder issues are only the start of what seniors often face.

Among the largest struggles – and those that can be some of the most problematic – can be a loss of memory. This can involve becoming a little bit forgetful, simply as a matter of regular aging, or more extreme memory loss as is the case in various forms of dementia, such as with Alzheimer’s Disease. To help with the more frightening side of that issue, some communities in China are now offering QR codes to the elderly, which can be scanned to provide good Samaritans with useful information if the senior should ever lose their way and become incapable of remembering where they live.

QR codes on badges have now been issued to elderly volunteers as a part of a pilot project.

qr codes button tags business cardsSo far, the project is being run in the Dingxiang Community in Hefei, in Anhui province and there are eight volunteers participating in the pilot. Should it prove to be successful, the project will be expanded to provide quick response codes to over 1,400 people who are aged 60 or older within that neighborhood.

The badge is worn by the elderly and is about the size of a postage stamp. The words “Please scan to help me back home” are printed next to the QR codes. The idea is that if the senior gets lost and can’t remember how to return home again, someone else can scan the barcode with his or her smartphone and obtain the contact information of the senior’s family, or the individual’s address so that he or she can make it back home again. It also provides contact information for the community office running the program, which can also provide assistance, if none of the other contacts can be reached.

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