Knoxville woman helps launch project to help dementia patients

Knoxville woman helps launch project to help dementia patients

Posted:
Under theAlzheimer's/Dementia Wristband Project, patients with a prior diagnosis of dementia have a Purple Angel logo affixed to their hospital wristband. Under theAlzheimer's/Dementia Wristband Project, patients with a prior diagnosis of dementia have a Purple Angel logo affixed to their hospital wristband.
Kathy Broggy, activity director for Courtyard Senior Living in Knoxville says the wristband project just makes sense. Kathy Broggy, activity director for Courtyard Senior Living in Knoxville says the wristband project just makes sense.

By LORI TUCKER
6 News Anchor/Reporter

KNOXVILLE (WATE) - A Knoxville woman is trying to get a special project started to help dementia patients and their families.

The project is called the Alzheimer's/Dementia Wristband Project.

When admitted to the hospital, patients with a prior diagnosis of dementia have a Purple Angel logo affixed to their hospital wristband to identify them as having special needs above and beyond illnesses they are seeking treatment for.

Brooksville Regional Hospital in Hernando County, Fla. is the first hospital in the nation to embrace the wristband project.

When Kathy Broggy heard about it, she thought it would be a great idea for the East Tennessee area. Broggy is activity director for Courtyard Senior Living in Knoxville, so she has lots of experience in identifying and dealing with behaviors associated with dementia.

She says the wristband project just makes sense.

"[Hospital staff] just need people to respond calmly, know how to approach them, help them feel more comfortable," said Broggy.

Kay Watson with Alzheimer's Tennessee says the organization likes the idea.

"We've actually been looking at models for emergency rooms and how we can make them more dementia-friendly for some time," Watson says.

With more and more people diagnosed with dementia, the need for new ways to provide the best care possible has become greater.

Also as part of the project, a purple angel is placed on the hospital room door so that anyone entering knows they should approach with the patient's need in mind.

Special training is provided to hospital staff, the use of "sitters" would become standard practice, allowing families to take much needed breaks without worrying that their loved one will be left alone, and a dementia screening process would be added to the admission process if there is no prior diagnosis.

The Alzheimer's/Dementia Wristband Project is only getting started in Knoxville.

For more information, contact Alzheimer's Tennessee in Knoxville at (865) 544-6288 or in Cookeville at (931) 526-8010. You can also call the toll free hotline at (888) 326-9888.

If you're interested in helping the grassroots effort to get the Purple Angel Wristband Project started, contact Alzheimer's TN. Their website is located at www.alztennessee.org .

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