Hefei City in China has issued QR code badges to elderly people, enabling passersby to help them back to their home if they get lost.
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QR codes are proving to be an enduring method for easily attaching digital information to physical objects, and we’ve seen them used in a variety of ways. Australia’s StrayHat has made it easier for parents to find their kids’ lost stuff with QR code labels, and now a local authority in China has now issued QR code badges to elderly people, enabling passersby to help them back to their home if they get lost.
China, much like other nations, is facing the problem of an aging population as better healthcare enables people to live longer. Diseases such as dementia and Alzheimer’s mean that older people can often find themselves confused and unable to find their way back. Handed out by Dingxiang Community in Anhui Province, the badges feature a QR code as well as some text that says ‘Please scan it and help me back home’. Each code holds information such as their ID card number, family contact numbers and the district they live in. Since the majority of people in China now own a smartphone, passersby who see an elderly person looking lost will be able to scan the code and find out where they’re trying to go.
The badges are made of durable plastic, and the authority has even developed a version that can be stitched onto clothes. The pilot has seen nearly 50 local residents supplied with the codes, and it hopes to expand the project to help more than 1,400 over-60s living in the region. Are there other ways that technology can help elderly people without requiring them to use it themselves?