Alzheimer’s Safety Devices

Many caregivers in the “sandwich generation” initially heard about Alzheimer’s disease when former President Ronald Reagan announced his condition in a heartfelt letter to the American people on November 5, 1994.  Reagan’s ten- year journey brought awareness to a disease that experts suggest affects as many as 5.1 million Americans.

What is Alzheimer’s disease?

Alzheimer’s disease was named after Dr. Alois Alzheimer in 1906.  It is a progressive and permanent disease that destroys memory and thinking skills.  Unfortunately, as the disease progresses, simple daily living skills cannot be completed.  When Nancy coined the phrase, “…the long goodbye…” she was referring to the slow progression of the disease.  According to the Alzheimer’s Association, there are three stages; a preclinical stage with no symptoms, a middle stage with minimal cognitive impairment, and a final stage of Alzheimer’s dementia.  Former President Reagan suffered for a decade.  However, a person can pass through to the final stages in less than four years if they are diagnosed in their eighties.

There are so many emotions involved when you learn that your loved one has been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease.  Denial, fear, and uncertainty of the future are just a few of the normal feelings.  Another stressor for caregiver’s is the cost of caring for a loved one with Alzheimer’s.  Experts estimate that the direct cost for caring for a loved one with Alzheimer’s and other dementias reached almost $200 billion in 2012.  In addition, if an Alzheimer’s patient requires a memory care unit, the average cost is almost $5,000 a month.

Steps to take after an Alzheimer’s diagnosis

The first step on one’s journey with Alzheimer’s is to research all of the excellent services and resources in your community.  The Alzheimer Association has a 24/7 toll-free Helpline that provides current information and support to all those who need assistance.  The Helpline serves people with memory loss, caregivers, and health care professionals (1-800-272-3900).  Initially, it is important to preserve the dignity and independence of your loved one as long as possible.  The Alzheimer’s Association reports that over seventy percent of patients with the disease reside at home.  In order to maintain a safe haven for independence, it is important to do a complete home assessment.  After the assessment, there are some excellent tools on the market to insure your loved one is safe in the home.

Alzheimer’s Home Safety Network

Veteran nurse Bonnie Shehan learned firsthand the havoc Alzheimer’s disease causes for both the patient and the caregiver.  Her personal experience along with what she termed “divine intervention” led the Indiana resident to launch a national award winning business called, the Alzheimer’s Home Safety Network.  Shehan designed and packaged a safety kit that provides all the tools that will help a loved one stay safe in the home longer.  These tools include items such as directional signs, doorknob locks, fall prevention aids.  The mission of the company is simple, “To provide support, safety products, interventions, and to enhance the quality of life for families and caregivers with Alzheimer’s and Dementia.”

Cost of the Alzheimer’s Home Safety Kit

The cost of the safety kit runs about $280.  Currently, the kit is not covered under Medicaid and Medicare benefit. However, after reviewing the cost of additional private duty services and memory care residential units, the safety kit is an economical solution.

AlzSafe Home Safety Kit is just one more tool for the patient and their caregiver to have a peace of mind and to try to keep their loved one at home as long as possible.  To find out additional information about the Alzheimer’s safety kit visit the site at:  http://www.alzsafe.org

Sources:

http://www.alzsafe.org

http://www.alz.org

 
 
 

About the author

I am passionate about sharing senior citizen news and resources discovered from both my profession and personal journey.

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