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Caregiver Magazine Urges Preventive Measures Against Wandering, Falls, Abuse
Date:2/6/2008

dvice so they can make informed decisions to help protect their loved ones and themselves," Hall added.

The special section, entitled "Playing it Safe," overlaps with national and local news on these issues.

Coincidentally, the American Academy of Neurology yesterday published guidelines that urge clinicians to screen their patients with neurologic deficits or general conditions associated with an increased risk of falling and to consider appropriate interventions if substantial risks are identified. The report by the academy's quality standards subcommittee appeared in the February 5 issue of Neurology, the academy's official journal.

On another safety issue, also yesterday, it was reported that the body of an 83-year-old patient who had Alzheimer's disease was found less than a mile from the hospital in Merrillville, IL where she apparently left her room the night before.

It was the latest in a constant string of media headlines around the country about individuals with Alzheimer's disease who become lost. Approximately 60 percent of those with the brain disorder wander during the progression of the illness, and face a 50 percent chance of death if not found within the first 24 hours.

In care ADvantage, experts offer this advice to play it safe:

-- On wandering -- Look for clues that the person might wander, such as inability to recognize one's own home; secure the environment, like camouflaging doors, installing motion detectors and hiding a person's coat or other essential belongings; outfit the person with an identification bracelet and enroll in a tracking program; and have the person's photo and other vital information at hand. If a person does become lost, act fast--quickly search the home and then call law enforcement.

-- On falls -- Check for dangers that frequently cause slips, trips or falls, especially in common trouble spots like pathways, lighting, floor surfaces, furnishings and bathrooms
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SOURCE Alzheimer's Foundation of America
Copyright©2008 PR Newswire.
All rights reserved

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