A nametag on a walker, trolley, or rollator can play a vital role in supporting the well-being and safety of dementia patients or any person with memory loss. It helps with identification, safety, communication, dignity, and orientation, and enhancing their quality of life. These are just a few reasons why mobility accessories can help loved ones remember and use their mobility aides.
1. Safety: The most obvious use of the nametag for the walker or wheelchair is safety! A person with memory loss is more likely to use their mobility aid if it has their name and familiar cues on it. Even though they may wander or become disoriented, when they see their name or pictures of things they like, they are more likely to grab the walking frame or wheelchair and remember to use it. The nametag can also include details like a room number or nickname, making it easier to identify it as theirs.
2. Locating their mobility aide: Persons with memory loss often leave their walkers behind or lose their trolleys altogether. And if they don’t have the walker, they are more likely to fall! Having the nametag on the rollator helps identify the aid as theirs, and ensures that healthcare professionals, caregivers, and loved ones, can find and return the mobility aide so the person can use it again.
3. Familiarity: Dementia patients can face difficulties recognizing familiar faces and places. So a nametag with familiar and important pictures on it can provide visual cues that help them identify the walker as their own. Seeing their own name with flowers they love or symbols of their profession on the nametag can trigger memories and associations and encourage them to use the walker.
4. Fun: Often a person with memory loss just doesn’t like the walker or mobility aide. Let’s face it, they are cold and boring. When it’s more attractive and decorated, or shows off their profession and interests, they often like it better. An accessory that is attractive or fun is more likely to get used! Grandpa is more likely to use his walker if it displays his military career or proudly shows he’s “George’s Grandpa” with his grandson’s sports team.
There are many, many benefits of making walkers or rollators more appealing to the people who need them. But the main reason is encouraging them to use it as we care for the ones we love.
And always note, I’m a physical therapist, not a doctor. This is not medical advice, nor is it intended to be interpreted as medical advice. Consult your own physician or medical professional for advice tailored to your situation. Have a great day and let’s make those walkers more fun!