Alzheimer’s is more than a disease. It robs the person who has it of their memory, their ability to think, and ultimately their ability to live. It steals parents from their children, grandparents from their grandchildren, and wonderful people from society. It hollows out the human brain like a bank robber emptying money and jewels from a safe. It slowly takes the life and light from a person’s eyes.
September is World Alzheimer’s Month, a month dedicated to uniting medical leaders, current patients, and the media to bring worldwide attention to Alzheimer’s research. According to the Alzheimer’s Association, more than five million Americans suffer from Alzheimer’s disease. And it’s estimated that by 2050, nearly 14 million (13.8 million) Americans over age 65 could be living with Alzheimer’s, unless scientists develop new approaches to prevent or cure it. In honor of the estimated 50 million people globally battling Alzheimer’s, HMS is dedicated not only to raising awareness but also fighting this debilitating condition.
What is Alzheimer’s Disease?
Alzheimer’s is the most common form of dementia. Since it is a progressive disease, Alzheimer’s increasingly affects a person’s everyday life. Simple tasks like remembering newly learned information, eating, and holding conversations become difficult. When these symptoms set in, it’s very hard for the individual to continue activities of daily living without assistance. Many people suffering from Alzheimer’s require care in nursing homes, in some cases living in a special section of the facility devoted to memory care. Special security measures are followed to ensure a patient with advanced Alzheimer’s doesn’t wander away from the facility.
HMS’ Commitment to Protecting Individuals Suffering from Alzheimer’s Disease
At HMS, we believe in a world where vulnerable populations are treated with respect and dignity; where no vulnerable person becomes just another statistic; and where the government at all levels uses its laws, regulations, and resources to protect those who cannot protect themselves. Since 47.8% of long-term-care residents battle Alzheimer’s or other forms of dementia, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), we are committed to making sure each resident receives the proper care they need.
Individuals battling Alzheimer’s and dementia deserve safety and respect. As a provider of healthcare facility inspections, HMS brings proven expertise, deep dedication, and critical insight into our survey processes, making sure we go the extra mile to uphold standards of quality care.
How We Protect Alzheimer’s Patients
Our teams conduct initial certifications, recertifications, revisits, complaint follow-ups, Life Safety Code (LSC) and specialty surveys (such as infection control and dementia care), that directly impact the care and treatment of Alzheimer’s patients. As part of the survey process, our surveyors complete observations, interviews, and record reviews to verify regulatory compliance.
Long-term-care facilities serving people with Alzheimer’s and dementia are required to maintain their dignity, protect them from abuse and neglect, honor their choices and preferences, and more. Regulatory compliance is important not only to ensure that residents/patients are receiving proper medical attention, but also to make sure each individual with Alzheimer’s or dementia can lead a full and happy life to the greatest extent possible in the facility. Our facility surveys play a vital role in upholding regulatory requirements that support the health and lifestyle of individuals with Alzheimers.
Protecting vulnerable people is more than just a business for HMS, and more than just a job for our survey teams. This is a calling. This is personal. This demands our utmost skill and dedication. Our hearts go out to individuals living with Alzheimer’s or other forms of dementia, and to all the families who have entrusted the care of their loved ones to America’s nursing homes.