Group Proposes Dementia Bill of Rights

SACRAMENTO, July 1 (UPI) — U.S. advocates for Alzheimer’s or dementia care have come up with 12 rules they say can increase the quality of daily life for the afflicted and the caregivers.

Virginia Bell and David Troxel, who created the Best Friends Approach, say they have established a Best Friends bill of rights because people often don’t know how to go about caring for someone in a way that provides the best results.

“With our bill of rights it makes it easier to understand what should be incorporated into everyday life, and what can be expected,” they said in a statement.”It takes the mystery out of big questions like ‘what should I do, and how shall I handle this?’”

The Best Friends Bill of Rights says every person diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease or a related disorder deserves to:

– Be informed of one’s diagnosis.

– Have appropriate, ongoing medical care.

– Be productive in work and play as long as possible.

– Be treated like an adult, not a child.

– Have expressed feelings taken seriously.

– Be free from psychotropic medications if at all possible.

– Live in a safe, structured and predictable environment.

– Enjoy meaningful activities to fill each day.

– Be out-of-doors on a regular basis.

– Have physical contact including hugging, caressing and hand-holding.

– Be with people who know one’s life story, including cultural and religious traditions.

– Be cared for by people well-trained in dementia care.

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