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Even the professionals don't always get it right

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Hopefully the weather will begin to get nice again and we can all enjoy some fresh air. It is wonderful to be able to get outside and take a deep breath, unless you have short term memory loss. Caregivers of people with short term memory loss know that although to many of us this is as natural as taking a drink of water, however for some it is a step into the unknown.
We, as caregivers, need to insulate against the unknown by making sure that if our care partner walks away there is a marker for the known. Sometimes an ID Bracelet is used to help other people help with the logistics of getting our friend back to the known. And sometimes there is a business card or badge with the name on it, to help the person find the way home; however there are times when no one expects that our care partner will become lost and thus there is nothing to provide assistance.
Because this is a new adventure and there has not been an example of going outside for a while, it is best to determine the ability to remember with safeguards in place. Of course we know if there has been a move within the last couple of years, the person runs a higher risk of becoming lost; but we must remember the loss of memory can be progressive and thus what was well known and habit last fall is no longer.
Going for a walk in decent weather or inside a mall or gym is as good for the body and soul as eating a balanced meal. So how do we protect our friend especially at this new time in their life? A few have been mentioned and of course going with them for each walk is always preferable, knowing their life experiences is very important as well. This is kind of like being a detective or putting a puzzle together, just being prepared.
A great resource is the Alzheimer Association (www.alz.org), as they are the front-runner in Dementia Care and Memory Loss. While our friend may have another medical process going on it is important to use all the information we can get and then fit them to our needs.

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