For One California Teen, Inspiration is the Real Mother of Invention

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Kenneth Shinozuka remembers the night when a police officer arrived at the family home with his grandfather in tow. The elderly Alzheimer’s patient was clad only in his pajamas and had no recollection of his recent walk down the middle of a nearby freeway. Kenneth, now a high school junior, could have allowed the unnerving experience to frighten him. Instead, he harnessed his love for his ailing grandfather and turned it into inspiration, creating a sensor that just might one day positively impact the 60 percent of Alzheimer’s patients who regularly engage in night wandering.

The sensor attaches to a sock that the patient wears to bed. When pressure is applied to the sensor, which naturally occurs when the patient attempts to stand, an automated alert is sent to the caregiver’s smart phone. The gadget received the Science in Action award from Scientific American magazine and Kenneth is currently testing it at a group of assisted living facilities. Watch this amazing young man’s efforts on behalf of Alzheimer’s patients!

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Lydia Lee lives in Seattle with two sweet, if slightly out of control, dogs. She loves reading, food, and the opportunity to make a difference.