Dementia: One of the most important reasons to wear Medical ID

Posted on September 8, 2017 by kerri

September is World Alzheimer Month, and if you know someone with dementia or Alzheimer Disease, it may or may not be clear to you why they should wear a medical ID bracelet or necklace. Given the spectrum of symptoms associated with dementias, ranging from mild to severe, it may or may not seem obvious why it would be important for people with dementia, including Alzheimer Disease, to wear medical identification jewelry. Some of the most troubling symptoms of dementia are also ones that might make medical ID jewelry an important choice.

older man resting hand on side of head. black and white photo.

Memory loss

Whether mild or severe, memory loss can be a troubling symptom of dementia. Not remembering important details like the person’s own name, address, phone number, or the name, address, or phone number of a loved one, can be scary for both people experiencing memory loss and their family. Other memory issues may become evident as well, such as leaving the stove on, forgetting to lock doors, or losing items, and doing these things regularly—after all, we all forget these things once in awhile! [1]

Medical ID jewelry can be important if memory loss is present, to ensure that a loved one can be contacted in an emergency situation. Engraving the person’s name, an emergency contact, and any important medical information can be important for even people with mild memory loss. As well, for many older adults, medication lists get lengthy—‘see wallet card’ is a good addition to a medical ID bracelet when medications may change regularly, or the list is too long to fit on a bracelet.

Wandering [1]

While most older adults enjoy going for walks, sometimes a walk alone can be dangerous if someone has memory loss. They may not realize that they are wandering, or they may go for a walk and be unable to find their way back. Becoming agitated (another symptom of dementia) combined with feeling lost may make a person less able to communicate things that they do know—and if they have memory loss as described above, they may struggle to get back home, even if a bystander stops to help them. Engraving an emergency contact on a medical ID bracelet can help to get someone with Alzheimer disease who has wandered back home safely.

Difficulty recognizing family and friends [1]

Because a person with dementia may be unable to recognize even those closest to them, having the name of a caregiver on their medical ID bracelet can help to ensure you can access your loved one in an emergency. Especially if they are agitated or anxious, they may engage in inappropriate behaviour and more so in a stressful situation. A medical ID bracelet with the name of a caregiver, adult child, or close friend, can ensure the right people are allowed to visit or pick up a person with dementia who has been brought to a hospital.

Communication problems and other health issues

Later stage Alzheimers patients may be unable to speak [1], and experience other medical issues like seizures or swallowing problems [1]. While many are no longer living in the community at this point in time as a result of their disease, ensuring those who do not know the person are aware of their medical issues is critical, especially to ensure that they are dealt with compassionately and calmly. A medical ID bracelet can ensure that those from hospital staff, to care home volunteers, are able to respond quickly to any medical problems, and care compassionately for a person with dementia.

My Identity Doctor medical bracelets and necklaces are durable and able to remain on at all times—all of our styles are waterproof and feature bold black engraving for easy readability. For families of people with dementia who may be prone to removing jewelry, shortening a dog tag necklace with an overhead chain so that it cannot be removed easily, or a bracelet clasp type that may be more difficult to use—shop owner Jon would be happy to offer recommendations!

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