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How Putting a Camera on Dementia Won’t Help Anyone

Why my grandfather’s mental health is still his health.

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MD-Health / Via MD-Health.com

My family is a strong build of love, light, and Italian food. Together we can handle anything, including when my grandfather was diagnosed with dementia.

My grandfather and my grandmother are like every other grandparent couple in the sense that they’re old and sometimes not feeling their very best. But unlike every grandparent couple, they are exactly opposite in their heath. My grandmother is physically sick, previously struggling with things like heart disease, kidney failure, and colon cancer. My grandfather, on the other hand, is in near-perfect physical health for someone who’s 91, but he has increasing dementia.

When my grandmother was hospitalized – one of numerous times – we looked to our aid agency for help with taking care of him. The agency already sends aids to help take care of both my grandparents during the day, so it shouldn't be a problem to maintain the same hours when my grandmother went to the hospital, right?

Wrong.

My entire family has taken off of work numerous times to support my grandparents but because everyone works full time jobs, we just can't take that time anymore. My grandfather is in no way, shape, or form to stay home alone, so we decided to call the aid agency and request the same hours for my grandfather despite my grandmother being hospitalized. What were we told? "No. Put a camera in the house so you can watch him while he's home alone."

Here is why that makes perfect sense:

1. It doesn't.

Putting a camera inside his home would not help anyone. Why not? First of all, if my grandfather were to be home alone and walk outside, he would immediately forget where he is and where he was trying to go. Secondly, if one of us were even able to watch the live-stream of him while we were at work and something happened to him, there is a good chance we wouldn't be able to get there in time to help him out without possibly losing him or without him hurting himself.

So why are people who have physical health issues given better help than those that have mental health issues?

We would not be told to "put a camera" on my grandmother while she is hooked up to her oxygen machine, so why would they tell us to do that for someone who has poor memory and could never live alone even for a few days?

Keep in mind:

- A new person is diagnosed with some type of dementia every FOUR seconds

- 1 and 3 seniors die from Alzheimer's or another dementia

- With a 0% chance of survival, dementia has only 6% the funding of cancer

- Alzheimer's disease is the SIXTH leading cause of death in the U.S.

In 2015, I can honestly say that I am extremely disappointed in the fact that mental health is not given the attention that it needs. I will continue to update on this war that victims of dementia and their families fight to get the help that they desperately need.

Do you know anyone that suffers from dementia? Have you had a similar situation?

Gabby is a writer from NYC. She loves television, blogging, and pizza pie-eating. Follow her on Twitter.

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