This article concerns the inherent challenges involved with caring for elderly patients and family members suffering from Alzheimer’s disease. The healthcare situation and ramifications are depicted initially, with a description of the difficulties faced by both families and patients. …
A detailed analysis of the problem is given addressing certain of the ethical implications of monitoring, or choosing not to monitor. The presumption exists that as a dementia worsens some form of GPS monitoring will be utilized by family members, or the staff of an assisted living facility.
A physiological description is given briefly describing the biochemical markers of Alzheimer’s disease, as well as the symptomatic criteria used in a positive diagnosis of dementia as a result of Alzheimer’s disease. Warning signs and the prognosis of the condition are given. While no organic treatment exists, the advantages of GPS monitoring are discussed, including the implications and questions that must be addressed prior to choosing an option. Advantages and disadvantages of tracking strategies are discussed in addition to three information systems which are compared in accordance with a list of five practical criteria. Finally, recommendations are provided in the interest of dignity for the Alzheimer’s patient, but with respect towards the needs of family members and the likely inevitability of assisted care. An option of a monitoring service utilizing the expertise of a professional Corporation is concluded to be the most valuable and practical option for the protection and dignity of Alzheimer’s sufferers....
With longer lifespans common, and aging of the population is inevitable. As a greater proportion of that population grows elderly, pathologies associated with aging will become of paramount importance. Some theorists may reason without sympathy for the humanity of those suffering from elderly dementia, or other forms of neurological illness similar to Alzheimer's disease. There may be some question as to whether the afflicted truly have dignity in the first place. There may be some that like an Alzheimer's patients to some form of devolved animal, lacking a human consciousness and the ability to plan for the future. Under this context both safety and convenience of care must be Paramount. Towards this end various forms of restraints, and/or monitoring technologies may be devised as a way to control the movements of elderly patients. In the twilight of human existence, those suffering from neurological diseases may seem to be struggling through a fog confusing memory with present reality. For a fleeting moment, it might make sense to seek out people and places long past, to resume old routines and see familiar faces without the cognizance of what lives on only in the past. An elderly person trying to return to a familiar setting that may not have existed for decades could easily wander away from caregivers and placed themselves in peril. Time and money must be spent tracking their movements and gently returning them to locations that seem wildly at odds with the fragmentary grip on reality that motivates the mentally diseased elderly. Estimates indicate that 60% of Alzheimer’s patients will become lost wandering away from their homes or places of care at some point during the progression of their ...
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