Last Updated: June 24, 2020
Alzheimer’s and dementia are terms people sometimes use interchangeably. However, while related, there are important distinctions here. The Alzheimer’s Association sums it up well, stating, “Alzheimer’s disease is a degenerative brain disease and the most common form of dementia. Dementia is not a specific disease. It's an overall term that describes a group of symptoms.” The Alzheimer’s Association further explains that approximately 50 million people in the world live with Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia.
Alzheimer’s disease is a form of dementia in which nerve cells in the brain gradually lose function. As this happens, people with Alzheimer’s experience memory loss and cognitive impairments. In the early stages of Alzheimer’s, people experience forgetfulness and confusion. Over time, some people lose the ability to speak and write coherently, make sound judgments, and solve problems. People with Alzheimer’s may also experience depression, anxiety, social withdrawal, mood swings, distrust in others, stubbornness, irritability, aggressiveness, and changes in sleeping habits. Some people with Alzheimer’s have a tendency to wander and forget where they are.
With these types of impairments, Alzheimer’s medical bracelets are a daily necessity for a few reasons:
People with Alzheimer’s, other forms of dementia, and others with impaired cognitive function need to wear medical ID jewelry. Alzheimer’s patients sometimes wander and become disoriented to time and place. Without Alzheimer's ID bracelets, it may take days for people to get back home. Being out of one’s known environment may cause excessive stress, and disorientation could lead to injuries or dangerous situations. An identification bracelet for Alzheimer patients is truly crucial. A person may require medical treatment for his or her Alzheimer’s and any other conditions, which s/he will not get while away from home.
If First Responders locate a person, either due to a report of a wandering patient or if they come upon a person on an accident scene, knowing the person’s baseline condition is imperative. If someone is disoriented, unable to recall his or her name, and/or is unsure of the time or place, EMTs may suspect a head trauma or other injury. However, something as simple as a medical ID bracelet can let First Responders know that disorientation or memory impairment is typical for a particular person, and it can provide necessary contact information for getting that person back to his or her family or caregivers as soon as possible.
Did you know?
People often ask about unremovable IDs or bracelets that can lock in some way. Such medical alerts can pose a safety hazard and make it hard to access key information in an emergency. It is best to choose a medic alert for dementia or Alzheimer’s that simply has an integrated or otherwise non-obvious clasp to discourage removal without making it unduly difficult.
When someone wears an Alzheimer’s medical ID bracelet, it is engraved with his or her name, Alzheimer’s diagnosis, and emergency contact information. However, it can also be engraved with additional medical conditions, allergies, medications, and treatment restrictions. So while Alzheimer’s medical ID jewelry serves the purpose of communicating the diagnosis of Alzheimer’s, it also helps ensure that the wearer’s other medical needs are available to medical personnel at all times.
Here are some examples of what to engrave on Alzheimer’s medical ID jewelry: