Technology Improving for Alzheimer's Patients and Their Safety - KTEN.com - No One Gets You Closer

Technology Improving for Alzheimer's Patients and Their Safety

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SHERMAN, TX -- Alzheimer's disease affects nearly 2.5 million Americans. Wandering is one of the biggest symptoms of Alzheimer's. A group called "By Your Side" is in the process of creating a smart device that would help patients. 

"Alzheimer's is a progressive disease," said Tim Dungan, with Home Instead Senior Care. "And so it starts with mild symptoms but then it progressively gets worse."

The challenge with the progression of Alzheimer's, for caretakers, is not knowing when or how strongly to step in. Short term memory loss usually happens first then behavioral issues that effects patients daily activities.

"If something's out of sync they have to make a rash decision," said Dungan, "a dog or person runs in front of their care. They're not as quick to problem solve and deal and handle that situation appropriately." 

"By Your Side" will be tailored specifically to Alzheimer's patients and is designed to help people with loved ones suffering. 

"As the disease progresses they can be aggressive and start having wandering spells," he said, "and then it gets to a point the safety issues start coming up." 

With 60 percent of patients likely to wander, "By Your Side" is in the process of developing a smart device that would track those patients in a non-intrusive way. The smart device hasn't hit the market yet, but local caretakers say there are other ways to combat the disease. 

"The best advice I would tell individuals, families dealing with Alzheimer's, is get a team," said Dungan, "Seek help. Don't try to do this alone."

If not found in a 24 hour period, half of patients will suffer serious injury or death. Local law enforcement steps in when silver alerts are issued. Their policy states time is of the essence during these investigations. But caretakers with Home Instead say they're constantly trying to improve their technology. 

"We also have an app for your smart phone," he said, "'Alzheimer's Disease and Other Dementias' is the name of it. And they have a bulletin board so that you can post questions. It becomes kind of a support group."

The Home Instead app is free for anyone looking to download it. Hopefully available soon, the creators for the "By Your Side" device provide the plan for their product on their website

Home Instead is relocating to 1109 South Sam Rayburn Freeway, Sherman, TX and for more information their services, visit their website.