We continue to hear in the media the devastating statistics about Alzheimer’s disease.
#1 – It is currently the 6th leading cause of death in the U.S. and the only cause of death in the top 10 that cannot be prevented, cured or slowed down.
#2 – Every 68 seconds someone develops Alzheimer’s disease.
#3 – Over 5 million people are affected now by Alzheimer’s and it’s anticipated that 16 million will be living with the disease by 2050.
#4– Currently, 15 million people are unpaid caregivers and that number will rise to 45 million by 2050.
Fortunately there are more organizations specializing in training and support for the disease that is currently affecting 1 of every 8 Americans.
The Best Friends Approach™ to Alzheimer’s and dementia care offers a proven philosophy of care for caregivers and any person interacting with someone affected by Alzheimer’s and other related brain disorders. This organization conducts training for assisted living communities, local chapters of the Alzheimer’s Association and adult day centers. The basis of their approach focuses on socialization as the primary treatment of Alzheimer’s. They provide simple techniques for caregivers that can be incorporated every day to ensure that dignity and independence is the cornerstone of all care provided.
The Best Friends Bill of Rights has been created to guide caregivers on how to be sensitive to the needs of those living with Alzheimer’s and dementia. This document should be a guide to care for individuals living at home as well as assisted living communities. If you are looking for a residential community for your loved one, you should ask if they promote the Best Friends Approach™ to Alzheimer’s and dementia.
An Alzheimer’s Disease Bill of Rights
Every person diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease or a related disorder
deserves the following rights:
- To be informed of one’s diagnosis
- To have appropriate, ongoing medical care
- To have expressed feelings taken seriously
- To be free from psychotropic medications, if possible
- To live in a safe, structure, and predictable environment
- To enjoy meaningful activities that fill each day and to be outdoors on a regular basis
- To have physical contact, including hugging, caressing, and hand-holding
- To be with individuals who know one’s life story, including cultural and religious traditions
- To be productive in work and play for as long as possible
- To be treated like an adult, not like a child
- To be cared for by individuals who are well trained in dementia care