Wednesday, July 23, 2008 Thelma, Community Member, asks

Q: What is the best type of electronic monitoring device for an Alzheimer patient in the home?

My mother is at the stage of Alzheimer's where someone needs to be within earshot of her.  This is not always possible and a suggestion was made for a monitor which are quite popular with babies these days.  In looking, however, there are so many different ones and so as to not reinvent the wheel, I thought perhaps someone had already asked this question.  We think we need a system where we could hear and see her and are open to suggestions.

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Answers (4)
AFA Social Services, Health Guide
7/25/08 9:50am

When it is not always possible to provide close supervision round-the-clock, it can be helpful to equip the home with safety devices in order to keep your loved one monitored. One suggestion is to attach an alarm to your mother's bed or chair, which will signal and alert others if she tries to get up. Most bed and chair alarms are designed to be loud enough to hear from a different room, which can assist in tracking your mother's movement if you are not readily nearby. Another potential device that may be helpful is a motion tracker. If your mother exhibits wandering behaviors, it might be a good idea to affix a motion detector device to the exit door. If she attempts to walk out of the house, the alarm will sound and you will be notified of this immediately. If you wish to see her from different rooms, you might want to consider installing a multi-room hidden video camera as well. For some general ideas and a list of products that are specialized for individuals with Alzheimer's disease, please visit www.alzstore.com/index.html.

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NC, Community Member
7/23/08 4:39pm

My father-in-law has 24 hours home care in his own house. He moved downstairs in Nov. The caregivers use the simplest form of baby monitor to monitor his movements. If she is doing the laundry in the basement, she would carry to monitor with her. My FIL also has lifeline but it is not practical for himself because he has no idea when or when not to push the button.

The best way is to have a person who is there with him all the time, and if the person has to go to the kitchen or wash the bathroom, bring the monitor with her/him to make sure. Frankly there is no perfect device for Alzheimer's patient at home because it is so dynamic and each patient reacts differently.  I don't think the fancy way of the device helps more - just need the basic ones. The more important issue is the safe setting of the home instead of how fancy the device should be.

 

There is some device for wandering outside of home and AFA has better answers for that. This is for outside of home. 

 

Take care,

Nina

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NC, Community Member
7/25/08 9:47am

By the way, you should buy the baby monitor with the small box that you can carry with yourself easily. There are online store for Alzheimer's products/goods and usually they would sell the monitor too. Our home care service bought the most basic one for babies that is plastic. The one to carry is a bit large but light. The caregiver keeps her piece in her room overnight so she can hear my FIL's action in his room. The other main part of the monitor is always with him (the one you can press on and off with light).

Good luck!

Nina

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HopeItHelps, Community Member
9/12/09 9:57pm

Baby monitors are good for babies, where the mother can tell by the kind of noise what the child needs. Alarms can really frighten your mother - they are usually loud and shrill. You need something that will alert you (or any other caregiver) with a pager you can carry around with you, but won't have a loud noise. I recommend something like what Notifex makes, because you get a page but your mother doesn't even know it. You can choose different sensors depending on whether you mother is ok wandering around a little or if you need to know the minute she gets up.

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By Thelma, Community Member— Last Modified: 06/17/12, First Published: 07/23/08