Can I Leave an Elderly Parent with Dementia Home Alone?

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Dementia is a progressive condition, and as it worsens over time, a senior’s care needs may change. When deciding 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, he or she 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 your loved one 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, ensuring that his or her 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. 

Dementia is often a result of Alzheimer’s disease, and specialized care is just a phone call away. For reliable Alzheimer’s care, Fort Myers, 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.

Conduct Regular Healthcare Assessments

Family caregivers can gauge when their loved ones are no longer able to be left alone. Ask questions like “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 answers to these questions are 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 Fort Myers senior 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 or a couple of days each week to handle your business, respite care could be an excellent option for your loved one. An experienced caregiver will come into the home while you’re away, helping your loved one with daily activities like medication management, meal prep, and exercise. With this option, your loved one will be safe, and you can have peace of mind when you’re not inside the home. 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 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 home care. Fort Myers 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. Rely on the professionals at Home Care Assistance to provide high-quality compassionate care for your loved one. Give us a call today at 239.449.4701 to learn about our flexible in-home dementia care plans.