A New Attitude In Alzheimer’s Care

Posted by Accutech on January 1, 2023 12:00 am

In case you’ve missed our previous posts we’ve been highlighting Alzheimer’s Awareness Month this November. From saluting caregivers to disaster advice and elder financial abuse we’ve put a spotlight on issues that affect the elderly and the people that love them.

New methods of caregiving show promise.

Our last post for the month will focus on a new attitude in treatment of Alzheimer’s patients. Some traditional treatment methods are being turned on their heads in favor of simple routine changes and indulgences.

Beatitudes, a nursing home in Phoenix, AZ, has given Alzheimer’s residents a bit of control over their own schedules, letting them eat when they’re hungry, bathe when they choose and even have a ‘nip’ of alcohol before bed. Staff has noticed a marked change in behaviors. Previously agitated and combative patients are more compliant and more importantly, happier than they were before.

A pocket of chocolate on a caregiver can have a more calming effect on some patients than Xanax, without the side effects. And a baby doll has given a previously aggressive resident something to care for and has changed her behavior for the better.

Research has suggested that creating positive emotional environments for Alzheimer’s patients has a big effect on their happiness and reduces distress.  Allowing them some control over their activities, even a bath at 2 a.m., makes them more agreeable and in some cases less dependent on medications that can leave them in a fog and perpetually confused.

Even letting them eat when they're hungry rather than restricting food to mealtimes can reduce stress as some Alzheimer's patients become distracted in large dining situations and may not eat. Later agitation may simply be hunger.

This research has spread into the home with the Department of Veterans affairs adopting programs to support and train caregivers to alleviate the high stress levels that affect them and those they care for.  By encouraging caregivers to focus less on structure and more on small indulgences they are able to deal with what can be a difficult situation.

From raising light levels to reduce “sundowning”, giving Alzheimer’s patients tasks that remind them of their earlier lives or reducing group activities and increasing one-to-one attention this new focus has promising results.

The ResidentGuard wander management system from Accutech can play a role in keeping dementia and Alzheimer’s residents safe while new therapies are explored in homes, residential care facilities and nursing homes. Our RFID technology ensures less outside interference and our software is easy to use so caregivers can focus their attention on quality care for their charges. There is a difference in wander management systems so call us today for more information.

Topics: ResidentGuard