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Is It Dangerous to Leave Older Adults with Dementia Alone at Home?

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Caregivers often wonder about the need to stay with an aging loved one with dementia around the clock. In the early stages of dementia, many seniors seem perfectly fine most of the time, and even those in the later stages of the disease often have periods of lucidity. Although it may seem as though you should be able to leave your loved one alone for at least a few minutes, you need to consider these potential issues that could arise if he or she is left unattended.

Consider the Possibility of Wandering

Your loved one may never try to leave the home while someone else is around, but wandering may occur if he or she is suddenly left at home alone and begins to worry. Dementia symptoms could cause your loved one to forget that you said you were leaving, which may make him or her try to look for you. Alternatively, he or she might get bored and decide to explore. Having someone else stay with your loved one while you run errands or work may prevent wandering.

Not every senior has the same care needs, which means they don’t all need the same type of home care. Palm Beach families can rely on Home Care Assistance to provide individualized care plans to meet your elderly loved one’s 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.

Prevent Accidental Fires

Your loved one may suddenly get hungry after you leave or think he or she hasn’t eaten yet. While you may normally handle the cooking, your loved one may try to do it independently. Many house fires are started when a senior forgets he or she is cooking and leaves the stove turned on. With dementia, your loved one may not recognize the warning signs such as the scent of smoke until it’s too late.

Protect Against Scammers and Other Criminals

Seniors are often the targets of scammers, and those with dementia might not detect potential criminal activity due to changes in their reasoning abilities. While alone, your loved one could answer a scam phone call and provide his or her personal information. Your loved one might also open the door to a criminal if he or she thinks the person looks familiar. Make sure your loved one always has a companion nearby to listen for potential scams when interacting with other people.

Avoid Serious Medication Mishaps

Without someone there, your loved one might need to take medication without supervision. Due to cognitive challenges, he or she may take the wrong medication. Memory loss could also cause your loved one to try to take the medication after you leave, even though it was already taken before you left.

Seniors with dementia may need help managing their medications and accomplishing other daily tasks. Families looking for top-rated Palm Beach homecare 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.

Supervise to Stop Poor Judgment Calls

There are so many other things your loved one might do while at home alone that it’s difficult to predict what could happen. Your loved one could try to climb a ladder to change a lightbulb, or he or she might buy expensive items while watching a home shopping show. With dementia, the ability to make good decisions can come and go. Hiring a professional caregiver to be there with your loved one when you leave the house can prevent unwelcome surprises.

Alzheimer’s disease is the most common form of dementia, and seniors in the later stages of this condition may need around-the-clock supervision as well. For reliable Alzheimer’s care, Palm Beach, FL, families can turn to Home Care Assistance. We are a leading provider of professional memory care designed to help seniors maintain a higher quality of life. In addition to Alzheimer’s care, we also provide comprehensive dementia, Parkinson’s, and stroke care. From revolutionary care programs to compassionate and dedicated caregivers, we can meet all of your Alzheimer’s home care needs. Call one of our dedicated Care Managers today at 561.429.8292.