The World Health Organization reports that approximately 50 million people around the world are living with some type of dementia. Here in America, the Alzheimer’s Association reports that more than 6 million Americans currently have a diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease, though that number is even higher when you include other types of dementia. What does all of this mean? It means if your loved one has recently been diagnosed with dementia, you are certainly not alone even if it feels like it sometimes.
Here at Lovebird HomeCare, we have the honor of working with family members around the Chicago suburbs and South Bend area who are trying to advocate for their loved ones who are living with dementia. We have found that perhaps the most common question we get always includes the topic of safety.
Alzheimer’s Disease and Safety
It’s no wonder why family members are concerned about the safety of their loved ones. Dementia affects multiple parts of the brain, making decision-making and judgment calls too complex for those even in the early stages of the disease. Safety while living at home alone or with a partner is more challenging for those trying to navigate dementia. Common concerns can include confusion, wandering off, becoming lost, wearing seasonally inappropriate clothing, and falling for financial scams.
Here’s the good news: finding the support of home care when you notice any red flags can prevent any major events or medical crises. Here are a few observations you might make that could point to potential safety concerns.
Expired Food in the Fridge
You can get an excellent view of how your loved one is living at home by paying close attention to their kitchen. Start in the fridge and cabinets. If you notice a lot of expired food, it could indicate that they are not able to pay attention to nutritional details. It can also point to them not eating often or well, which is all too common for those living with Alzheimer’s disease.
The Centers for Disease Control reports that 1 in 4 seniors fall every year, though that number is likely higher since many falls are not reported. However, if your loved one has fallen in the past six months, it could indicate that in-home care services are warranted. Falls can happen to any senior, certainly, but those living with dementia can experience changes to cognition, balance, and visual interpretation that can increase the risk of falling during daily activities.
Anxiety often arrives with dementia, particularly in the early and middle stages of the disease. This anxiety can cause restlessness which can sometimes lead to wandering inside and outside of the home. Your loved one might exhibit signs of anxiety any time of day, but the late afternoon and early evening hours can be especially intense.
One of the hallmarks of dementia is confusion and forgetfulness. While there are plenty of other challenges that come with the disease, confusion and forgetfulness are often the root causes for unsafe decisions or conditions. If you notice that your loved one is becoming increasingly confused, it is time to get them the support they need through home care services.
How Lovebird HomeCare Helps
Our team of caregivers is trained in dementia care best practices. Our personalized approach ensures every client is receiving the interventions and approaches they need to stay as healthy and as safe at home as possible.
We can provide a consistent and calming presence to reduce anxiety, verbal cues and assistance to reduce falls, and nutritional support through meal preparation. Call us today so your loved one can receive the support they need at home. We would be honored to serve them.