THE anxiety of holidaying with a dementia sufferer could be relieved by a simple and discreet device now available in Buckinghamshire.

A GPS monitor is being piloted by Carers Bucks to help people with dementia stay safe while on holiday.

The `buddi' safer walking system uses mobile phone and GPS technology to locate family members and is linked to a call centre.

It a welcome innovation for Margaret Morgan-Owen.

Her husband Alasdair was diagnosed with vascular dementia in 2005 and the `buddi' could have prevented a stressful holiday experience for the couple in Wales last year.

Margaret suddenly realised that Alasdair was no longer with her and was in a complete state of panic.

"I found him standing in a square and he was in a state of panic too as he didn’t know where he was or remember where he was staying. We were both very upset by the whole experience.”

The `buddi' allows a person to be located simply and easily at any time of the day or night, giving reassurance to the carer.

The service is funded by Buckinghamshire County Council and will be run by Carers Bucks on the council’s behalf.

It will offer carers the free loan of a ‘buddi’ while they are away.

Buckinghamshire County Council Adults and Family Wellbeing cabinet member Patricia Birchley hopes the new service will be a confidence boost for carers.

The ‘buddi’ forms part of a wide range of equipment and technology available from the council’s Telecare Service to help vulnerable people live as independently as possible in their own home.

This technology means that for some carers a holiday away from home, with their loved one, is now a possibility.

Carers can contact Carers Bucks on 01296 392711 to find out more about the ‘buddi’ or to reserve one for their holiday.