Medic Alert Bracelets worth the trouble? Story attached.

Discussion in 'I care for a person with dementia' started by Annie C, Oct 18, 2015.

  1. Annie C

    Annie C Registered User

    Oct 14, 2015
    I'm just wondering if anyone else has obtained one of these for a relative with dementia and if they have been useful.

    It was my baby grandson's Christening today and we had everything in place for my MIL to attend (lifts to and from and an overnight stay with my elder son which she always enjoys). I spoke to her on Friday morning and she was looking forward to it all but just a little concerned that we couldn't tell her which of us would drive her home this evening only promise her that one of us would. I thought I'd reassured her that there really wasn't a problem but it turns out she subsequently took herself off to the local supermarket all in a fluster (to buy milk) and forgot her walking stick.

    Early Friday evening she rang to say she'd decided not to come to the Christening as no one wanted to drive her home. Over three or four subsequent calls with myself and my daughter she got increasingly agitated about this and seemed incapable of understanding that we would get her home. At no time did she mention the shopping trip or (more importantly) a fall that afternoon. Eventually she settled on coming again another time when it would be 'quieter' and that was that.

    Me, my BIL, and my daughter all spoke to her again yesterday. She was happy enough, said she was well, did say to my daughter that she'd tripped in the supermarket car park, nothing more.

    Then I phoned her today to say we'd missed her and finally got the whole story (I think because she was more lucid today/I happened to ask the right questions, rather than because it was after the event). She had fallen (she has no idea why, there was nothing to trip over) onto her face, had a bump "the size of an egg" on her forehead, her nose had bled profusely ("all over my blouse") and she'd taken the skin off her cheeks and chin. Bystanders picked her up, wanted to call an ambulance, but she refused. She told them she was always falling over and was used to it and she'd get cleaned up in the Ladies and catch the bus home. No one knew she had dementia, no one knew to argue with her. Covered in blood she went first to the store's toilets and then to buy her milk, and then home, and not a single person in the store or on the bus seems to have asked her if she was okay.

    Does anyone's experience suggest that a Medic Alert bracelet stating she had dementia might have made it more likely that someone would have insisted on that ambulance?

    She is reporting swollen eyes and headaches, I suspect she has a broken nose, and I can't now get up there (she lives a two hour drive away) before tomorrow. (Don't worry, a gent she knows locally has been in to check she's okay until then, given that she's still refusing medical assistance.)
  2. susy

    susy Registered User

    Jul 29, 2013
    North East
    It could be useful, if she would wear it and if she would let someone look at it. It might be an idea to pop to the shop that she gets her milk from and have a chat with the manager and let them know about your mums condition and maybe even give them your number. I have no idea how they will take this though but worth a try maybe.
    So hard to live far away but nothing you can do about that except make the best of it xx big hugs.
  3. Callandergirl

    Callandergirl Registered User

    Apr 23, 2013
    Hi Annie C, If I were you I'd definitely get a bracelet for your mum. Would she wear it though?? My husband is a wanderer and he wears one with the phone numbers of myself, my daughter and my son-in-law just in case he gets lost or needs help for any other reason such as a fall or falling I'll when he's out and about. He also has a GPS tracker but that's in case he disappears or falls in the woods and no one finds him.
  4. Slugsta

    Slugsta Registered User

    Paramedics would probably look for an alert bracelet and trained first aiders might do so. I'm less sure about a general 'Good Samaritan', I don't think they would be inclined to ask if such a thing was being worn/carried and it sounds unlikely that your mum would volunteer the information if she was determined to decline professional intervention.

    Sorry, not much help I know :(

    Edited - CallanderGirl, has your hubby needed to use his yet? Has he voluntarily shown it to anyone or has someone looked for it?
  5. Mrsbusy

    Mrsbusy Registered User

    Aug 15, 2015
    In respect of the store staff and others not asking about her well being I would like to think maybe they did but being of her generation she played it down and insisted she was ok. I maybe wrong but that's how I would imagine it to happen.

    Personally i think it wouldn't hurt her GP to receive a call and ask him to pop in on her to check her over, especially if she has a headache. At least he would be able to put your mind at rest until you manage to see her.

    Also if she has a bracelet on and wears it this time of year she may not have got it noticed as it would be covered by her coat or cardigan I'd think. Hope she feels better soon.
  6. Callandergirl

    Callandergirl Registered User

    Apr 23, 2013
    No Slugsta he hasn't used it yet, but for our peace of mind we'd rather he wore it. If he collapsed I'm sure a first raider would look for it.
  7. Annie C

    Annie C Registered User

    Oct 14, 2015
    Lots of good advice here, thank you.

    I'm now thinking it might not work, but it certainly won't work if we don't get one and try it. Hopefully she'll wear it, and hopefully she won't need it.
  8. Annie C

    Annie C Registered User

    Oct 14, 2015
    She's quite adamant that no one apart from the people who picked her up talked to her. She said people were noticing the blood and then trying to pretend they hadn't noticed. Not that she is a particularly reliable witness these days.

    I'm hoping to get her to the GP when I get up there, I can see her not letting him in if he arrives on her doorstep. Although then again she's always saying how dishy she thinks he is!
  9. its a struggle

    its a struggle Registered User

    So sorry to hear about your MIL & her independent streak! Can really empathise.

    OH & I have been home from A&E for about an hour now where MIL was taken at about 6.30 this evening. 3 falls this week, first on Tuesday when she 'just fell out of bed' mmmm WE think she tripped over the stuff that litters her bedroom & hit her face on the bedside table. same thing Thursday, & again today when she FINALLY pulled the emergency cord in her flat.

    She looks like one of those awful photos in the press when an elderly person has been mugged, it's so sad.

    To make matters worse she neglected to tell the call service just how long she had been on the floor, and admitted when we turned up at 4pm that she had been there since 8am:eek:

    Sadly this is her pattern of behaviour, and she can be very convincing when asked whether she is ok & can look after herself. On a positive note tho the 3 paramedics that attended wrote her up for SS assessment and read her the riot act. She is now awaiting a CT scan and at least 24 hrs of monitoring in hospital.

    Not sure how this helps with your question, but wanted you to know you are in good company on your journey with MIL.

    More of us joining every day; I think they're going to need a bigger bus:rolleyes:
  10. Onlyme

    Onlyme Registered User

    Apr 5, 2010
    Another idea- can you attach an alert tag to the loop where her handbag joins its handle? To Mum it would be a nice silver handbag decoration but anyone looking for info would see it. Not sure if that would make her more vulnerable though.
  11. chris53

    chris53 Registered User

    Nov 9, 2009
    Hi Annie, so sorry you have this additional worry regarding mum in law, this illness sometimes just is so unpredictable, and with any elderly parents the thought of falls is so scary, a bracelet is a great idea, especially if it is presented to MiL as a very "special" gift, any medics would in fact check a pulse so the additional barrier of a jumper should not be a problem, but alas the independent streak/I am OK sort of thing, seems to take over when they are ill or have had a fall, I would say that a call to her GP would be a good idea just to give you and your family peace of mind and also get that put on her notes, and also that a friend of hers has been in to check on her.
    Hope all is good with your visit tomorrow:eek:
    Take care

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