Home > Safety, Wandering/elopement > Putting Your Stamp On It

Putting Your Stamp On It

Today, I read a very interesting and thought-provoking article on the AARP website.  (http://www.aarp.org/health/conditions-treatments/info-06-2012/medical-alert-tattoo.html).  It talked about a man who had a message tattooed on his wrist that stated he is a Type 1 diabetic.  Since he sometimes forgets to wear his medical alert bracelet, he reasoned that a first responder would learn about his condition upon checking his pulse.  Other people have had tattoos placed on their chests stating that they do not wish to be resuscitated.

Now, there are some words of caution that need to be said here.  First responders aren’t trained to look for tattoos, and there’s no guarantee that a medical alert message will be seen.  And the process of getting a tattoo, and having it heal sufficiently, could be dangerous for individuals with some health conditions.  (For example, if someone is taking a blood thinner.)  Choosing the right tattoo artist is also essential; the health risks involved with such things have been well-documented for some time.

Still, it’s an interesting concept.  What comes to mind right away is the person with dementia, who is prone to wander.  What about having some sort of identification tattooed on this person?  But, here’s the problem.  Where would you put such a tattoo, so that it could be found easily?  What form would the tattoo take — a name, a phone number, or something else?  And that’s counting on the idea that the person will be found, and not just wander out into the wilderness to die.

Anyone care to comment?

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