Monday, September 15

Keeping Aging Relatives With Alzheimers Safe

Granma's diseaseImage by *dolbystereoben* via Flickr I have an uncle who has Alzheimer's Disease. Whenever I visit their home he often asks me who I was. Again and again I had to gently remind whose daughter I am and what my name is. Sometimes when he does remember me he cries uncontrollably. When asked why he told me he was remembering my deceased father who was very close to him when my father was alive. Uncle was weeping because he felt so proud of me and what I have achieved as an adult which my dad wasn't able to see. Needless to say I love Uncle like a father and I care about his safety in his present health condition.

My cousins love their father very much and would want to see him safe even when we all know there is no cure for Alzheimer's. The least the family can do is take turns watching out for my uncle, although it can be difficult sometimes when everyone else has his own family or career to take care of, too. My Aunt, who thankfully isn't going senile yet, may not be strong enough to take care of my Uncle's needs like bathing him and administering medicine for maintenance. Aside from Alzheimer's my uncle also suffers from diabetes and high blood pressure.

Thinking about these diseases and how my Uncle is always in need of a constant companion, I felt it would be nice if we can outfit him with a personal medical alarm or a GPS tracking device in case he wanders out of the gate and forgets where he was.

The mobile alert GPS is a special medical alarm device is attached to the wearer either around the neck or on the wrist. It would have been a most helpful aid because we haven't hired a personal caregiver for Uncle yet. He's having difficulties with "strangers" in his house. It's disconcerting to know that some members of the family are included in that category most of the time.

The other device that would be of great help is the one for personal reminders and remote assistance. Both my aunt and uncle are taking maintenance medicine. My aunt is also a diabetic, but none of them are insulin-dependent, unlike my male cousin who has to inject himself each day. However, forgetfulness isn't only a sign of Alzheimer's, it's also a sign of aging. Having a personal emergency medical alarm can help my aging aunt and uncle, and their children in keeping track of the pills and capsules they need to take each day.

Senility as part of aging is unstoppable. The only thing we can do as we age is try to keep our minds and bodies active by maintaining social activity. It is highly recommended that mature men and women who are in their 50s and above should keep social relationships alive by being with friends and family, and continuing to learn and enjoy a variety of life experiences. Alzheimer's may not be curable or unavoidable but we can slow down mental aging if we keep our minds active and positive.

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