Developing dementia can alter the way seniors conduct their daily lives and cause them to lose independence as the condition progresses. The inability to remember certain things, combined with other cognitive issues, can make it dangerous to leave an aging loved one with dementia unsupervised. Continue reading to discover reasons it isn’t safe for seniors living with dementia to be at home alone.
When your loved one begins to wander and has difficulty remembering how to get home, you should stop leaving him or her alone. Each time your loved one wanders off, he or she is at risk for not returning home. As dementia progresses, his or her sense of direction or the ability to remember normal things like his or her address may begin to fade, and the odds of becoming lost increase.
A highly trained caregiver with experience in caring for seniors with dementia can be a fantastic resource for family members. Families looking for top-rated senior home care providers can reach out to Home Care Assistance. From respite care to specialized Alzheimer’s, dementia, stroke, and Parkinson’s care, there are many ways we can make life easier for seniors and their loved ones.
2. Poor Decision-Making Skills
Opening the door to strangers and giving out personal information should be warning signs for family caregivers. Dementia causes seniors to gradually lose the ability to make safe decisions, putting their health and finances in jeopardy. Leaving your loved one alone at home could increase the odds he or she will invite strangers into the home or fall for an elder scam via telephone or in person. When someone is always in the house with your loved one, the risk of financial exploitation and other safety problems is reduced.
3. Inability to Act Quickly
Seniors who are unable to respond appropriately to emergencies should never be left alone. Fires and burglaries require clear thinking and quick action, which are abilities most seniors with dementia lack. In these kinds of emergencies, your parent would need to call 911 immediately and get out of the home. However, diminished cognitive abilities make it difficult to respond correctly or within a timely manner, putting your loved one’s health and safety in severe danger.
Even when families have the best intentions, caring for a senior loved one with dementia can be challenging. Fortunately, Home Care Assistance is here to help. We are a leading provider of dementia care. El Dorado County families can take advantage of our flexible and customizable care plans, and our caregivers always stay up to date on the latest developments in senior care.
Seniors with dementia often hear, feel, taste, see, and smell things that aren’t there. Most hallucinations involve people or experiences from the past, but some seniors may experience frightening hallucinations that put their health at risk. For instance, if your loved one thinks an intruder is in the home, he or she could try to protect him or herself by grabbing a sharp object such as a knife. If this happens, your loved one has the potential to become injured or destroy things in the home. There’s no way to determine when seniors with dementia will experience hallucinations, so they should never be left alone. When your loved one hallucinates, a caregiver should be there to offer immediate reassurance, such as with a gentle touch or positive distractions like music and fun activities.
5. Increased Risk of Falling
Dementia can cause poor balance, physical weakness, and gait changes in seniors, putting them at risk for slips, falls, and head traumas, which is why leaving them alone can be dangerous. The side effects of dementia medication as well as other prescriptions could also make your loved one more prone to falling. If your loved one falls, someone needs to be there to offer immediate assistance and prevent infections, broken bones, and even death.
If you’re caring for a loved one with dementia, keeping him or her safe is your number one priority, and a caregiver can be a tremendous asset. Not every senior has the same care needs, which means they don’t all need the same type of home care service. El Dorado County families can rely on Home Care Assistance to provide individualized care plans to meet their elderly loved ones’ unique care needs. Our holistic Balanced Care Method was designed to help seniors focus on healthy lifestyle habits such as eating nutritious foods, exercising regularly, and maintaining strong social ties, and our Cognitive Therapeutics Method offers mentally stimulating activities that can stave off cognitive decline and delay the onset of dementia. Contact one of our experienced Care Managers today at (916) 358-3801 to learn more about our reliable in-home care services.