Can You Leave a Loved One with Dementia Alone?

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The choice to leave their aging loved ones with dementia alone is difficult for many family caregivers because of the negative impact dementia has on memory, critical thinking skills, and motor functions. There may be times when you need to step away to handle professional and personal situations, but leaving your elderly parent alone can be risky, depending on the stage of his or her condition. Take a look at some of the reasons you should never leave a loved one with dementia alone.

Wandering

This dementia-related symptom is common in the middle and late stages of the disorder. An overstimulating environment or anxiety could increase your parent’s odds of wandering away from home. While your loved one is out, he or she could get lost and forget his or her contact information. Although there are steps you can take to reduce wandering, the symptom cannot be prevented entirely. Avoid leaving your loved one unattended at any time of day or night. If you’re unable to be at his or her home, enlist the help of other family members and close friends. They can step in for a few hours a day to give you temporary relief.

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 Castle Rock at-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.

Slips and Falls

Good balance, vision, and postural control are necessary to minimize the risk of slips, falls, and other accidents. However, older adults with dementia have sensory problems and poor critical thinking skills, which impacts their motor function and puts them at a higher risk of falls and related injuries. If your loved one is left alone and falls, failing to get immediate treatment could lead to severe consequences, such as broken bones, head traumas, and infections.

Aggressive Behavior

Verbal and physical outbursts are typical in seniors with dementia, and when not controlled, the combative behavior could cause them to hurt themselves or others. Never leave your loved one alone, because he or she could experience behavioral changes that cause him or her to act irrationally. As a result, your loved one could harm him or herself with everyday items in the home. Your loved one could also hallucinate and have a combative episode while outdoors alone, which increases the risk of hurting him or herself or others in the community. 

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. Castle Rock 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.

Slower Reaction Times

Higher cognitive functions are required to react to emergencies, such as fires within the home, falling objects, and burglaries. Dementia limits executive function and reaction times, putting your loved one’s safety and health in jeopardy. To prevent your parent from facing these situations without help, never leave him or her at home alone. If family and friends are unable to help out with your loved one’s care throughout the week, consider using in-home respite care services to ensure your parent receives the care he or she needs and deserves. 

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 senior care. You 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. To learn more about our reliable, compassionate in-home dementia care services, contact us at 720-287-1685 today.