1 January 2008

Electronic tagging – enabling or disabling people with dementia?

Dementia tags moves backed
This is Oxfordshire: 30 December 2007
Tracking dementia patients would help them lead healthy and independent lives, according to the manager of a specialist nursing home in Oxford.

Patricia O'Leary,of Vale House, in West Way, Botley, has welcomed the Alzheimer's Society's view that people with brain disorders should be given the option of wearing an electronic tag so they can roam freely outside their own homes.…. > full story

Alzheimer's Australia Research Officer, Suzanne Dixon comments: The debate over tagging of dementia patients was revived late last month when the UK charity organisation, the Alzheimer's Society, publicly supported a move towards voluntary electronic tagging in the UK.
Advocates of the plan claim it would allow people with dementia more freedom - as the society claim up to 60% wander (walk away from home) and 40% have gotten lost before - while still guaranteeing safety. However, some experts have doubts about the ethics of gaining consent from dementia patients, and see the move as a way to make caregivers' lives easier.
Alzheimer's Australia agree that the technology could be very useful as long as informed consent could be obtained from the patient. Tagging should never be a replacement for top-quality care. (26 January 2008)

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