ProHealth health Vitamin and Natural Supplement Store and Health
Home  |  Log In  |  My Account  |  View Cart  View Your ProHealth Vitamin and Supplement Shopping Cart
800-366-6056  |  Contact Us  |  Help
Facebook Google Plus
Fibromyalgia  Chronic Fatigue Syndrome & M.E.  Lyme Disease  Natural Wellness  Supplement News  Forums  Our Story
Store     Brands   |   A-Z Index   |   Best Sellers   |   New Products   |   Deals & Specials   |   Under $10   |   SmartSavings Club

Trending News

On-and-off fasting helps fight obesity, study finds

Can Pomegranates Slow Aging?

Calorie restriction promotes longevity through effects on mitochondrial network

Discover Why Ashwagandha Can Be Used for Stress and Anxiety

Lower magnesium levels linked with increased mortality risk during up to 40 years of follow-up

A spoonful of oil: Fats and oils help to unlock full nutritional benefits of veggies, study suggests

Higher resveratrol dose linked to lower glucose levels in type 2 diabetics

How Can You Benefit From Vitamin B12?

Drug can dramatically reduce weight of people with obesity

What Is Bitter Orange?

Print Page
Email Article

The Rights Of The Person With Alzheimers Disease

  [ 768 votes ]   [ Discuss This Article ]
By Bell, V.M., & Troxel, D. • • March 10, 2000

Every person diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease or related disorders deserves the following rights.

To be informed of one's diagnosis

Typically, a patient is informed of a serious medical diagnosis, even against his or her family's wishes. For example, it is highly unusual for a physician not to inform a patient of a diagnosis of terminal cancer. When the person inquires, "What is wrong with me?," he or she should be told that he or she has a medical problem affecting the thinking process, memory, and judgment. if the person asks, "Is it Alzheimer's disease?," he or she should be told the truth, Withholding the truth and the reasons for a person's medical and psychological condition can be crueler than the effects of this disease.

To have appropriate, ongoing medical care

Great strides have been made in educating the public about the importance of receiving a thorough medical evaluation when symptoms of dementia appear. Some dementias are treatable. Yet, after an Alzheimer's disease diagnosis, families struggle to find appropriate, on-going care from physicians with geriatric experience. Just as women have successfully fought for medical care that is sensitive to their special concerns and needs, we must now fight for improved geriatric care.

To be productive in work and play for as tons as possible

All of us have a need to contribute to, and be a part of, the world around us-whether through work, recreation, or even helping with a simple chore. Persons with emerging Alzheimer's disease should be encouraged to maintain their vocational interests for as long as possible. Individuals in middle or late Alzheimer's disease benefit from meaningful activities each day.

To be treated like an adult, not like a child

The person has led a full life, rich in experiences. Even late into the illness, the person will retain a sense of his or her personal history, achievements, and values, given cues. Activities and language should be age appropriate and meaningful. A former federal judge should not be asked to cut out paper dolls. People in their 70s should not be spoken to as if they were 7 years old.

To have expressed feelings taken seriously

Care providers, family members, and others know that many individuals with dementia want to discuss their feelings and sense of loss even if they cannot always fully articulate their concerns. Family members and professionals should be willing to listen and empathize. The authors hope that the growing trend of forming support groups for individuals with emerging Alzheimer's disease will continue. They are a valuable service for the individual with dementia.

To be free from psychotropic medications, if possible

Mood-altering or psychotropic medications can be used to combat sleeplessness, anxiety, wandering, and aggression or other challenging behaviors. Although these medications can be helpful, they can also increase confusion. Most problems can be better managed by behavioral interventions or prevented altogether through improved education about the disease, better staff training in facilities, and use of the Best Friends model of care. Hugs are usually better than drugs.

To live in a safe, structured, and predictable environment

Whether it is a home or a long-term care facility, the living environment should be designed around the needs of the person. It should be safe and well lit, offer areas for walking or wandering, be uncluttered, and be pleasant. it should provide a structured schedule of activities and meals. Being structured and predictable does not mean boring- a rich environment that stimulates the senses (e.g., fresh flowers on the table, the smell of baking bread) can still provide the person with a sense of security.

To enjoy meaningful activities that fill each day

Activities should be individualized whenever possible to take into account the person's abilities and interests. The person should be given a job to do. Activities that stimulate the senses with colors, fragrances, textures, music, and the tastes of healthy foods are ideal. Exercises such as walking, dancing, ball tossing, or stretching should be part of everyday life, if possible. Above all, positive, upbeat, and life-affirming activities are encouraged.

To be outdoors on a regular basis

Individuals with dementia should have fresh air and sunshine on a regular basis. Being outdoors can also lead to enjoyable activities such as observing flowers and birds or "people watching." Just feeling warm sunshine can boost morale and stimulate the senses. Outdoor activity is particularly important for people in facilities where most activities occur indoors.

To have physical contact, including hugging, caressing, and hand-holding

Something as simple as a touch can reassure anxious individuals and bring great joy. A bear hug can distract someone about to have an outburst. if sexual intimacy is lost, hand-holding and caresses can help individuals with dementia and their loved one still feel close.

To be with individuals who know one’s lifestory, including cultural and religious traditions

Knowing a person's life story and traditions enhances all aspects of Alzheimer's care. Communication is improved when caregivers can provide verbal cues. Likes and dislikes can be acknowledged. Also, appropriate activities that take into account the individual's interests and traditions can be planned. For example, it would be inappropriate to encourage someone to dance the polka if he or she belonged to a religion that prohibits dancing.

To be cared for by individuals who are well trained in dementia care

Although family caregivers should learn as much as possible about dementia care, they have the right to demand competent care from professionals. Reading books on dementia care, participating in sup- port groups, and attending workshops and conferences give families and professionals more tools for providing good care and improving quality of life for the person.


Like the U.S. Bill of Rights, the Alzheimer's Disease Bill of Rights is not absolute. To cite a famous example from constitutional law, the right of free speech does not allow someone to yell "Fire!" in a crowded theatre when there is no fire. Likewise, the Alzheimer's Disease Bill of Rights must take into consideration each person's cognitive abilities and medical situation.

Yet, individuals, families, and professionals who adopt these rights will find that the result will be an improved plan of care and improved sensitivity to the person's needs. Facilities that adopt these rights will be informing families of their commitment to offer the highest quality of care for persons with dementia.

Finally, it is the authors' hope that, until a cure for Alzheimer's disease is found, these rights may give comfort to people with emerging Alzheimer's disease. They can use this bill of rights as a tool to discuss their concerns and fears and to participate as much as possible in decision making regarding their future.

Source: Adapted from Bell, V.M., & Troxel, D. (1994, September/October). An Alzheimer's disease bill of rights. American Journal of Alzheimer's Care and Related Disorders & Research, pp. 3-6; reprinted by permission.

Post a Comment

Featured Products From the ProHealth Store
FibroSleep™ Ultra EPA  - Fish Oil Energy NADH™ 12.5mg

Article Comments

Be the first to comment on this article!

Post a Comment

Optimized Curcumin Longvida with Omega-3

Featured Products

Vitamin D3 Extreme™ Vitamin D3 Extreme™
50,000 IU Vitamin D3 - Prescription Strength
Ultra EPA  - Fish Oil Ultra EPA - Fish Oil
Ultra concentrated source of essential fish oils
Optimized Curcumin Longvida® Optimized Curcumin Longvida®
Supports Cognition, Memory & Overall Health
Energy NADH™ 12.5mg Energy NADH™ 12.5mg
Improve Energy & Cognitive Function
Mitochondria Ignite™ with NT Factor® Mitochondria Ignite™ with NT Factor®
Reduce Fatigue up to 45%

Natural Remedies

Can Autoimmune Conditions be Reversed? Researchers Make a Surprising Discovery Can Autoimmune Conditions be Reversed? Researchers Make a Surprising Discovery
Why Berries Offer a Rainbow of Health Benefits Why Berries Offer a Rainbow of Health Benefits
Probiotic Mint Promotes Healthy Gums & Teeth, Freshens Breath and Whitens Teeth Probiotic Mint Promotes Healthy Gums & Teeth, Freshens Breath and Whitens Teeth
D-ficient? Health Risks You Need to Know About D-ficient? Health Risks You Need to Know About
The Genetic Mutation That May Compromise Your Health - And What to Do About It The Genetic Mutation That May Compromise Your Health - And What to Do About It

ProHealth, Inc.
555 Maple Ave
Carpinteria, CA 93013
(800) 366-6056  |  Email

· Become a Wholesaler
· Vendor Inquiries
· Affiliate Program
Credit Card Processing
Get the latest news about Fibromyalgia, M.E/Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, Lyme Disease and Natural Wellness

CONNECT WITH US ProHealth on Facebook  ProHealth on Twitter  ProHealth on Pinterest  ProHealth on Google Plus

© 2017 ProHealth, Inc. All rights reserved. Pain Tracker App  |  Store  |  Customer Service  |  Guarantee  |  Privacy  |  Contact Us  |  Library  |  RSS  |  Site Map