Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Safety Options

So, if Lyn is getting confused and feels lost when she's more than a few feet from you when you're out in public, what are our options for her safety?

Currently, Mom has her hold hands or has Lyn place her hand on Mom's shoulder.  The physical contact is reassuring to Lyn.  However, it can impede movement and is more difficult if Lyn has her cane.

Technology based solutions are more targeted to when you are trying to keep the person wandering off from home.  Though a Fitbit or similar tracker may be useful if the caregiver had a cell phone which has been paired with the device.  The concern I would have with it would be if the individual with Alzheimer's would keep the device on.  We've long had to use a medical alert bracelet that Lyn is not capable of taking off so that she's constantly identified.

There are a few other options we can consider.

If Lyn's willing, we could use a wrist/belt loop tether which are designed for an adult and toddler.  The wrist straps are cloth and may fit her wrist.

If she's not willing for the tether approach, there is the My Buddy Tag system which looks more like a bracelet but alerts the adult when the other person is out of a pre-set range.  The wrist unit expands to 8 inches which would be big enough for Lyn's wrist.  (I see "My Buddy" and my 1980s childhood rears its head with a particular jingle.)

I posed the question on FaceBook yesterday about using a tether to help keep her safe.  The question sparked some good conversation and suggestions were made.  The general consensus was that it didn't matter what others think about using such a device.  The concern is more about caring with Lyn with dignity.  To do this, we need to pose the use of such devices as a choice in which Lyn has a say.

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