Wairco: a guardian angel for our vulnerable loved-ones
As life unfolds, we find ourselves celebrating our individual existence. The exciting uncertainty of being a teenager transitioning into adulthood. The job interview that may turn into a life changing opportunity. The anticipation of your first date with the person that could be ‘the one’. The exhilaration, coupled with sheer terror that may enshroud becoming a new parent. Between these monumental times we incur the hardships and the general ups and downs of life. Moments and people pass by like warm breezes. They can be fleeting but they shape our lives without notice. While we grow as people, our bodies grow older, and our memories aren’t as vivid as they once were. We may find ourselves struggling for a word to fit the occasion or a name to put to a face.
My dad had been suffering from memory loss and some disassociation after he retired. My family chalked it up to normal age related memory loss and some hearing loss. But then the day came when he said something that was so far from his reality that we all stopped in our tracks. It was now obvious that he was dealing with dementia and now, as a family, we were dealing with our dad having dementia. The progression was slow but the decline in his neurological health was obvious. We were heartbroken for our dad, but we still had work to do…we had to keep him engaged as much as possible but, more importantly, we had to keep him safe.
Our biggest concern was that he had started to wander. For people with dementia wandering means that they set out, on what used to be a familiar walk, but find themselves unable to recognize places and faces and become lost or confused about their location. This is something that can happen at any stage of the disease and is terrifying for both the individual and their loved ones and caregiver. I witnessed the strength and resilience of my mother, as she cared for my dad in his declining state of health. She constantly harboured the fear of him leaving the house and wandering off…an issue that became an unfortunate reality last summer in the late stages of his disease.
If you have ever cared for a loved-one with dementia, you may have also experienced this and the panic that comes with it. It can be hard to understand what is going on in their head and where they may have gone to, but in these frightening situations we have to act fast to ensure their safe return. When we learned of the impending release of the Apple AirTag, we decided to create an accessory that would give caregivers, like my mother, peace of mind. This accessory allows the AirTag to be discretely attached to an individual’s clothing, without fear of removal or tampering. By attaching the Wairco Apple AirTag snap case to a loved-one suffering from dementia, caregivers can quickly locate them if they do wander off, eliminating the time it takes to guess where they might have gone and potentially staving off any undue injury. The knowledge that your beloved dependent is safe from a world they no longer understand is priceless, and it’s the reason that this little accessory has been designed.
Written by Paul Bryan
Paul is the husband of our CEO, Lyn Bryan. Paul, and the story of Paul's dad, was a key driver to start Wairco. In fact Paul's early prototypes, ideas and passion for finding a solution inspired the design process and production of the Snap Case for Apple AirTag - Thank you Paul for sharing your story.