Medical Alerts for Seniors with Alzheimer's Disease

Medical Alerts for Seniors with Alzheimer's Disease

time icon 5 min read update icon Sept. 28, 2019


Alzheimer’s Disease affects approximately 5.5 million Americans. It is a progressive brain disorder that is irreversible, and eventually wipes out memories, thinking skills, and the ability to carry out even simple tasks.

Alzheimer’s Overview

The first symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease usually appear in a person during their mid-60s. It is the most common form of dementia to afflict seniors. Alzheimer’s is caused by a buildup of proteins in the brain that form plaque and tangles.The plaque and tangles cause roadblocks that prevent nerve cells from transmitting messages throughout the brain. A shortage of key chemicals in the brain also takes place. There are prescription medications which can help alleviate some of the systems for a time, but the disease is progressive.

Alzheimer’s Impairment

Alzheimer’s disease sufferers battle a variety of daily impairments that can make life difficult.

  • Cognitive decline that causes forgetfulness
  • Poor judgment
  • Taking longer to complete daily tasks
  • Difficulty with language
  • Trouble organizing things
  • Inability to perform daily tasks efficiently, such as getting dressed
  • Confusion
Medical Alert Benefits

Medical alert services are about more than the ability to quickly summon help in the event of a physical emergency. An Alzheimer’s disease sufferer can also quickly call for help if they should realize they have forgotten to turn off the stove and a fire has erupted in the kitchen. Many seniors with Alzheimer’smay forget to turn off the shower or bath faucet. In such a situation, the house could start to flood, and the sufferer may panic. With medical alerts, they can quickly summon help.

Symptoms of Alzheimer’s Disease can be more pronounced one day and less on another. Eventually, the sufferer will worsen and there may be no more ‘good days.’

Alzheimer’s disease symptoms:

  • Memory loss
  • Confusion
  • Difficulty with language
  • Behavioral changes
  • Angry outbursts
  • Lack of impulse control
  • Restlessness
  • Agitation
  • Wandering
  • Repetitive behavior
  • Paranoia
  • Hallucinations
  • Weight loss
  • Loss of bladder control
  • Skin disorders
  • Loss of bowel control
  • Grunting
  • Inability to communicate
  • Seizures
  • Sleepiness
Safety Without Medical Alerts

Many Alzheimer’s disease patients opt to live life without medical alerts. However, when facing the slow decline of their physical and mental functions due to the disease, they should take steps to ensure their daily safety.

  • Memory loss: Installing a voice-controlled computer system throughout the house, such as Amazon Echo or Google Home, can be beneficial because the senior can ask the computer for the time and date, reminders about their medical schedule, and a multitude of other questions. Important reminders can also be programmed into the system. The computer system has the ability to turn lights on and off and control the home’s thermostat for the occupant.
  • Forgetfulness: Forgetfulness can be dangerous when it comes to tasks such as turning off the stove. Having smoke alarms in all rooms of the house helps alert the senior to a fire before it gets out of hand.
  • Physical Impairment: A walker or cane can assist the sufferer with getting from room to room.
Alzheimer’s Disease Precautions
  1. Avoid safety hazards: Installing functional smoke alarms throughout the house will quickly alert someone in the event of a fire. All appliances in the kitchen, such as the stove, should have safety timer shut offs.
  2. A list of phone numbers: Alzheimer’s disease causes forgetfulness, even at the onset of the disease. Keeping a list of all emergency contacts near all phones will remind the senior who to call for help.
  3. Extra lighting: Keeping the home well-lit keeps the senior from stumbling and falling in the dark.
Alzheimer’s Disease Medical Alerts Conclusion

Medical alert services are beneficial to an Alzheimer’s disease sufferer not only to call for help if they should fall, but also in the event of a dangerous situation. If the senior should forget how to turn off the stove and a fire erupts, then calling for emergency assistance is of paramount importance. During a stress-filled emergency, an Alzheimer’s disease sufferer may forget how to dial a phone, so having medical alerts only a button-push away may prove to be lifesaving.

Kimberly Sharpe - Senior Advisor

Kimberly is senior researcher with Grandfolk® providing in-depth product and service reviews to empower senior buying decisions.