Alzheimer disease or dementia symptoms can be very troubling. It can be difficult to keep your loved one safe when they are struggling with memory, behaviour that is not like their real self, and as you both cope with difficult feelings about how dementia is impacting them. January is Alzheimer Disease Awareness Month.
While it is difficult to provide peace of mind with such a difficult condition to navigate, one step that you can take for some reassurance is to ensure your loved one wears a medical ID bracelet or necklace.
Why is a medical ID bracelet important for those with dementia?
Symptoms of dementia can be troubling, and the most troubling symptoms impacting your loved one’s safety can be addressed—to an extent—with a medical ID bracelet or necklace.
- Memory loss – Inability to remember a person’s own name, address, or emergency contact information. This information can be printed on a medical ID bracelet.
- Difficulty with verbal communication– A bracelet alerts others to a medical need if a person is unable to communicate verbally.
- Confusion and disorientation– Communication can get more difficult if stressed or “worked up”—for instance, if a person is lost or forgets what he or she was going to do.
- Inappropriate behaviour/agitation/paranoia/hallucinations– All of these symptoms can be troubling to both the person with dementia and those around them. A medical ID bracelet for dementia or Alzheimer disease can help ensure your loved one is treated with compassion.
- Wandering– While not a symptom of dementia itself, wandering is problematic coupled with memory loss and poor planning abilities experienced by people with dementia, wandering can be scary for both people with dementia and their loved ones. A medical ID bracelet can ensure your loved one is quickly reunited with you if they are prone to wandering.
- Effects of stroke– If dementia was caused by a stroke, it is important to identify that the person is a stroke survivor, in the event medical treatment is needed.
- Parkinson Disease– Many with Parkinson Disease develop dementia-type symptoms; a Parkinson Disease medical ID can ensure that they are addressed efficiently in an emergency.
Symptoms referenced from Mayo Clinic
If you have a loved one with Alzheimer Disease or another type of dementia, there is no better way to keep them safe starting this Alzheimer Awareness Month than to get a medical ID bracelet or necklace, or update the one the are wearing if it is not current. For people with dementia, a bracelet should have their name, an emergency contact, and any crucial medical information (such as type of dementia, allergies, or critical medicines important in an emergency) engraved. While it can’t bring complete peace of mind, it will make you and your loved one more secure knowing if they cannot speak or are confused, that they will be well taken care of and returned home safely.