Alzheimer’s disease can be managed at home for many years. And that’s good, because maintaining stability in their living quarters brings a measure of calm to a person with cognitive impairment. There are many ways to make the home safer for people with Alzheimer’s, but at some point the time will likely arrive to consider moving them to a facility that can take better care of them.
Answering the following 7 questions can help youknow when that time has come:
1. Does your loved one become disoriented or wander?
Both these behaviors are common in people with Alzheimer’s. If your loved one cannot be relied upon to stay in the home, it is a sign that they are no longer safe at home.
2. Do they withdraw, become depressed, or agitated when left alone?
If so, they need to be in a setting where they have constant companions.
3. Do they attempt “unsafe” activities by themselves?
The activity might be as simple as cooking, which is a danger for anyone with cognitive impairment. Or it may be a hobby they always enjoyed, like sewing or woodworking. With Alzheimer’s, these hobbies should only be done with supervision. If your loved one consistently tries to do any of these on their own, they pose a risk to themselves and others.
4. How do they react to stress?
If they become confused or behave unpredictably when stressed, it shows that living at home poses a danger.
5. Are they aware of danger?
People with Alzheimer’s are often unable to interpret what they see, and may not react appropriately to a dangerous situation, such as a fire.
6. Do they know what to do in an emergency?
The appropriate response to any emergency will vary. It might be as simple as calling a friend or family member or as complex as leaving the house and calling 911 from a neighbor’s home. If your loved one cannot determine what the appropriate response is to an emergency, they are not safe at home.
7. Are they happy at home?
If they are unhappy staying in their home, it is certainly time to consider an alternative.
If your loved one with Alzheimer’s or other dementia can no longer stay at home, you can entrust their care to the memory specialists at the Regency Nursing and Rehabilitation Centers. We offer special Memory Care units designed to safely and compassionately provide for all of our residents including those who suffer from various stages of dementia and other cognitive disabilities. Our Alzheimer’s patients thrive in comfort and security at all of our Regency facilities.