Dementia is a progressive condition, and as it worsens over time, a senior’s care needs may change. When deciding whether to leave an aging loved one with dementia alone, your family must assess the situation and make a decision based on his or care needs and cognitive abilities. Below are some of the ways to determine if your loved one should be left alone and what you can do to ensure he or she is safe while you’re away.
Create a Schedule
If your parent’s health is in good shape and he or she doesn’t have issues with mobility, wandering, and disorientation, your loved one may be able to be left alone while you’re away. Some seniors can live independently during the early stages of dementia. However, if your loved one exhibits specific dementia symptoms, determine what time of day those problems occur and plan your schedule accordingly to avoid leaving him or her alone during vulnerable times.
Make Safety Modifications
If you determine your loved one can safely stay at home while you and other family caregivers are away, you’ll need to make some modifications to the home to ensure your parent’s safety is never compromised. For example, you can place notes in different areas of the house reminding your loved one when it’s time to take medications, the schedule for doctor appointments, and what’s on the menu for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
You should also remove all sharp objects and cooking utensils to prevent your loved one from hurting him or herself. Always lock the doors and shut all windows before leaving your loved one alone to reduce the risk of wandering.
Caring for a senior with dementia can be challenging for family caregivers. Luckily, there is dementia care Dallas families can rely on. Professional dementia caregivers help seniors with dementia stay safe and comfortable at home by preventing wandering, providing cognitive stimulation, and assisting with household chores.
Conduct Regular Healthcare Assessments
Family caregivers can gauge when their loved ones are no longer able to be left alone by asking questions such as “Does my loved one know how to return home if he or she goes outside?” and “Does my parent know how to identify potential dangers, and if so, can he or she access emergency services independently?” If the answer to any of these questions is no, your loved one will require someone to be in the home with him or her throughout the day and during the night. You can move your loved one into your home to make things easier. You should also ask family members to step in and help with your loved one’s care throughout the week.
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 Dallas in-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.
Use Respite Care
If you need to take a few hours a day or a couple of days each week to handle other responsibilities, respite care could be an excellent option for your loved one. An experienced caregiver will come into the home while you’re away and help your loved one with daily activities like medication reminders, meal prep, and exercise. With this option, your loved one will be safe, and you can have peace of mind when you’re away.
Make sure to check with the home care agency about hiring caregivers who specialize in dementia care. They’ll know more about the condition, and they can give your family tips to slow its progression while enhancing your loved one’s quality of life.
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 elder care. Dallas 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. Call us today at (214) 363-3400 to learn about our high-quality in-home care services.