Very often seniors in the earlier stages of dementia don't appreciate the feeling that they can't be left on their own. This desire for independence is understandable, but it can be dangerous for your elderly family member. It helps to understand how your elderly family member responds to potentially dangerous situations so that you can make an educated decision.
She Recognizes When a Situation Is Dangerous
It's immensely helpful when your elderly family member can recognize and understand when a situation she's in is dangerous. If your senior doesn't have a concept of situational danger, that can mean that she ends up in those situations more often than not. The first step in sometimes avoiding danger is recognizing what danger might entail.
She Knows How to Get Help if Necessary
Once your elderly family member is in a situation in which she realizes that she needs help, does she know how to get that help? If so, she's much more likely to be able to avoid making a bad situation worse. It can help to leave names and numbers in an emergency list near the phone.
Stress Doesn't Confuse Her or Make Her Shut Down
In some cases, danger or stress confuse a senior who has dementia or make her freeze up. When your elderly family member is alone, different situations that aren't necessarily dangerous can become so quickly, especially if your senior doesn't react appropriately. Pay attention to how she responds to some of those types of situations because that can tell you a lot about how she'd react on her own.
She's Not Prone to Wandering
Wandering can be an incredibly dangerous habit for a senior with dementia. For some caregivers, seniors who wander are difficult to keep tabs on throughout the day. If your senior is alone, that makes wandering an even more dangerous habit for her because no one would know when or why she left. A history of not wandering can mean that your elderly family member is more likely to remain safe at home instead of disappearing.
Ultimately, this is a highly individualized debate. Your senior's doctor can help you to understand what stage of dementia your senior is currently in and what she can handle. Her doctor can also help you to understand how her dementia is likely to change over time. A compromise might include having senior care providers stop in rather than staying with your senior for long periods of time.
IF YOU OR AN AGING LOVED-ONE ARE CONSIDERING SENIOR CARE IN YOUNGSVILLE, NC, PLEASE CONTACT THE CARING STAFF AT SENIORS HELPING SENIORS TODAY. CALL (919) 761-5346.