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Alzheimer`s Disease/hippa and alziemers facilities

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Question
My family is facing Alzheimer's in my mother a retired nurse and also treated for bi polar for many years.  My parent's have always been very private about any medical information about themselves to anyone outside our family.  The wellness coordinator at the facility my mother is going into is saying we need to bring pictures of her during different parts of her life and will have her name prominently placed on the door to her room to help her become familiar and remember where her room is.

Our family is prominent in the area and it is safer for mom to be at a facility now rather than at home..  It's a beautiful place and everyone is so kind a patient ..I just wonder..

Isn't that a violation of HIPPA?  If other visitor's whom we are not close with and want to protect my mother from see her name isn't that not right?
Please clarify.

Please let me know.  WE are not ashamed , its just that not a lot of people know except family and close friends and we are trying to protect her from being confused by potential "strangers" who know her but whom she does not recognize.

Answer
Hi Becca,
In the confines of the home I believe it is allowed. If you've visited anyone in a hospital you would see patient names outside their rooms as well.
While I appreciate wanting to protect your mom, it really is safer for her to know where her room is, and she won't, especially in the beginning remember where her room is at all. Having a name will help her. Is this facility an Alzheimer's unit? If so I think you needlessly worry because all the visitors that go there are also visiting someone with dementia. If it is an Assisted Living, their maybe people who come up to your mom and try to converse with her. People with dementia tend to lose their social graces late in the disease, so while they are talking to your mom she will be gracious and later she won't really remember who or if she spoke to someone. That's the beauty (if there is one!) of this disease.

I think you should give it a try their way and see how it goes. If it really upsets her I would hope the staff would remove her name. Of course your mom hopefully won't be spending her whole time in her room so name or no name on the door would be a moot point as they may just recognize her and go up to her and start talking! She may just like the attention. Time will tell.

I hope it goes smoothly for all of you. Just remember if you enter into this with anxiety so will she. She will follow your mood!

Good luck! I hope for the best!
Paula  

Alzheimer`s Disease

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Paula Damgaard

Expertise

I can offer families and caregivers non-diagnostic answers to questions regarding the disease. I travel around the state giving courses on Alzheimer`s disease for nurses and CNA`s.

Experience


Past/Present clients
I have coordinated Alzheimer's Clinical drug trials since 1987. I have coordinated the Memory Disorders Clinic since it's inception 1994. I also have personnal experience from caring for my mother who died of AD 5/2000 and presently from caring for my mother in law who was diagnosed in March 2000.

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