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					Understanding
  Dementia

Helping the Lost
Become Found
                   Dementia
n   3 characteristic problems
    n   short and long term memory
        loss
    n   AND at least one of the
        following
        n   Impairment of abstract thinking
        n   Impaired judgment
        n   Personality changes
        Causes of Dementia

n   Alzheimer’s disease
    n   destruction of brains neurons
n   Many strokes, Parkinson’s
    disease
n   Early to late stage
    n   early
         n   memory loss
         n   impaired judgment
    n   late
         n   unable to care for self
         n   requires total care
             Brief Description

n   Signs and symptoms of
    dementia
    n   ask the caregiver
    n   memory loss - thought problems
         n   unable to remember name,
             address, phone numbers
         n   why they are in that location
         n   how to get help
         n   repetitive questions
         n   inability to stay focused
         n   inability to follow the conversation
         n   inappropriate statements
         n   can’t figure out setting
    n   judgmental problems
        n   improper dress
        n   improper behavior for the setting
        n   what role law enforcement has
n   encourage SAFE RETURN
    REGISTRATION
     Behavioral Problems

n   wandering or become lost in
    the community
    n   Safe Return
         n   program administered by national
             Alzheimer’s Association
         n   similar to ‘medic alert’
         n   24 hour operators
         n   provide information on residence
             and contacting caregiver
n   agitation/aggression
    n   symptom of disease
    n   not a sign of a worrisome
        situation
    n   time limited
    Communicating with a
    persons with dementia
n   questioning likely provide
    little useful information
    n   simple
    n   face the individual
    n   repeat 1-2x
    n   use clues to help form the
        question
n   may provoke agitation
n   look for clues
    n   Safe return ID or clothing tags
    n   personal identification
        Recognizing a lost elder
            with dementia

n   inappropriate behavior for
    situation
    n   clothing/weather
    n   clothing/social standards
    n   walking in street
    n   unable to cross the street
    n   wandering aimlessly
n   occurs in best situations
    n   homes and institutional settings
Characteristics of the lost

n   unable to return home
n   either walking aimlessly
n    ‘hiding’ in a natural area
n   most likely on foot
n   unable to protect themselves
n   likely won’t respond to your
    call
n   unlikely to ask for help
n   may occur in anyone with
    dementia
         Search Strategies

n   identify a search strategy
    n   to cover an increasing
        circumference of where last
        seen
         n   start with 1 mile
         n   go out to 5 miles
         n   > 5 mi unusual, but not usually
             associated with death, so less
             focus needed
    n   cover all possibilities within that
        range
         n   streets, highways
         n   residential yards
         n   easily accessible buildings
              n   convenience stores, hospitals
         n   continue through night
n   reconsider search strategy
    after ~ 6 hours
    n   identify natural areas within 1
        mile range
    n   conduct shoulder-to-shoulder
        search
    n   increase circumference to about
        5 miles
n   REFER TO ALZHEIMER’S
    ASSOCIATION
n   ENCOURAGE SAFE RETURN
    REGISTRATION
n   contact information
    n   Alzheimer’s Association
         n   Lynda Everitt
         n   372-6266
    n   UF College of Nursing
         n   Meredeth Rowe
         n   846-0678

				
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posted:7/15/2013
language:English
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