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Taking care of the AD patient.

Dr. Marc Evans M. Abat, an internist-geriatrician and consultant director of the Center for Healthy Aging at Medical City, answers frequently asked questions on how best to deal with patients and family members suffering from Alzheimer's disease:

How soon should one consult a doctor to check if a patient has AD? Consult a doctor even for the mildest but persistent memory loss complaint, especially if you notice your relative having functional problems (as in having difficulty doing their usual activities, noticeable and grave errors in judgment, etc). See a doctor should the patient become aggressive. Also ask about medical consequences like malnutrition, repeated infections, etc.

Where can we get caregivers?

Referrals are a good place to start although there are specialized caregivers and caregiving organizations that are used to or familiar with how to care for demented patients. Not all caregivers can handle the more challenging problems among AD-afflicted patients like aggression, wandering or hallucinations.

Which hospitals in the Philippines have geriatric care for people with AD? All hospitals have specialists who can possibly take care of AD patients. A few hospitals, however, have geriatric medicine specialists who can primarily manage and coordinate a holistic care plan for AD patients. Those in Manila include Philippine General Hospital, Medical City, Makati Med, St. Luke's, Manila Doctors and Asian Hospital.

What gadgets are useful to better take care of them? It depends on what you want to accomplish. There are wheelchairs and mobility aids, as well as motion and pressure sensors that can be installed in the patient's room to monitor their movements. You can also use GPS trackers to locate a patient who has wandered off from home. CCTV cameras have become cheaper and clearer, and can now be easily accessed via the internet to monitor patients.

Medical monitors like BP apps, pulse oximeters and thermometers can also be used by family members. Smartphones can be programmed through apps as well to remind patients (or their caregivers) when certain activities-like taking their meds-are due.

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Publication:Philippines Daily Inquirer (Makati City, Philippines)
Date:Oct 16, 2016
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