identify patient wandering
Define An Alzheimer’s Assistance Dog
An Alzheimer’s dog lives at home with an Alzheimer’s patient, their caregiver(s) and other family members. This is an inside dog as opposed to those unfortunate canines that are regulated to spending their lives physically apart from their family units, residing outside of the home, receiving minimal human love and contact.
The Alzheimer’s dog is trained to watch over the patient, especially at night, and alert the chief caregiver if the patient gets up. The dog is trained to identify an imminent “wandering” situation, alert the caregiver by making physical contact with them, lead the caregiver to the location of the patient, and to then go into a “down/sit stay” position in order to act as a distraction to the patient.
Help for the Caregiver and the Patient
The dog is a warm, fuzzy partner, helping the caregiver give the best possible care to the Alzheimer’s patient. With wandering under control, the patient can often remain within the family; the caregiver gets an ally and a night’s rest. Home usually provides a more positive environment than that found in an institution; whether a group or nursing home.
Financially, it is much more feasible to keep an Alzheimer’s patient in their home. Therapeutically, the home environment is usually more positive for the patient than living elsewhere.