Wandering away from home and caregivers has become a great problem with Alzheimer’s patients. I recall my aunt slipping away from my mom, when they lived together. Fortunately, Mother found Auntie, unharmed, about a mile away.
Later, when Mother developed Alzheimer’s, she attemped to leave my home and then the nursing home when she lived there. She didn’t slip away for long before we found her. But only a short time can be too long in these situations.
So the question about the use of electronic tags or chips to help track Alzheimer’s patients enters the picture. While it seems, to me, like a common sense solution, it has become a very controversial issue.
Cries of “That’s inhumane!” and “Big Brother” mix with “That will save my parent!”
I know what it’s like to have a family member disappear, even when you’re providing diligent care. Just a moment unobserved and they can slip from sight.
Their instincts seem attuned to knowing the minute they’re alone and unwatched. They also are very astute about circumventing locks, hooks, and even key pads. Mother took a broom handle and lifted a hook off a latch we thought was beyond her reach. Then she escaped outside into the darkness. (Fortunately my husband and I were watching that time.)
As the issue continues to make news, we look at both sides of the picture. On one hand there are caregivers who have had family members wander away, even resulting in fatalities. (This happened with an elderly friend of ours.) On the other, you have people who feel this is an invasion of personal or civil liberty. They’ve even staged rallies to protest this “unfeeling” regard for the Alzheimer’s patient’s privacy.
What do you think?