If you have a loved one with Alzheimer’s disease who lives alone, you may have wondered if they’re safe. It’s undeniable that living alone can be risky, but many seniors want to stay at home for as long as possible. That said, while many people live alone during the early stages of the illness, it’s never too soon to plan ahead and make adjustments for safety.
As a senior living community providing memory care services, Melrose Gardens understands the concerns relating to living alone with Alzheimer’s. In this article, we explore some of the safety issues associated with living alone, and precautions you can take to ensure your loved one’s safety.
Falls are a major risk for older adults, especially those with Alzheimer’s disease. However, you can lower this risk with certain adjustments. For example, adding grab bars in the bathroom, non-slip flooring, and minimizing trip hazards like rugs and cords are all common ways to make a home more dementia-friendly. If you aren’t sure what modifications are needed, consult with an occupational therapist; they can evaluate the home for safety.
All people with Alzheimer’s and dementia are at risk of wandering from the home and becoming disoriented and lost. ID bracelets are one way to counter this risk, as are devices such as GPS watches and ankle bracelets. There are also smart home technologies that can remotely monitor your loved one’s home and alert you to doors being opened.
Loneliness is a major health risk that has been tied to dementia. That’s why regular socialization is important for everyone – but especially for those with Alzheimer’s, as isolation and boredom can worsen the illness. Alzheimer’s disease can be a frightening experience, and being left alone can lead to agitation, mood swings, and even anger. Make sure that your loved one has access to social support and doesn’t become withdrawn.
As Alzheimer’s progresses, your loved one will eventually need to stop driving. That’s why planning ahead is essential; it’s much easier to figure out alternative transportation options when the disease is in its earlier stages. Remember that your loved one has likely been driving for many decades; planning ahead can allow for a gradual adjustment to such a major change.
There are dangers that come with living alone for a person with Alzheimer’s disease, but that doesn’t mean they can’t be safe. By planning ahead and making modifications, you can help ensure your loved one’s safety and have peace of mind. Just remember not to wait for them to ask for help; they may not realize when to do so. Instead, be proactive and offer suggestions.
Melrose Gardens is a senior living community in Los Angeles providing memory care services, and we’d love to give you a tour. If you’re looking for memory care in the Los Angeles area for yourself or a loved one, contact us today to learn more.