The vast majority of seniors choose to remain at home throughout aging, as opposed to moving to an assisted living facility or nursing home – close to 90 percent of them, based on research done by AARP. And who can blame them? The comfort of familiar surroundings, the independence to go wherever, whenever you please, the opportunity to prepare the meals you want when you want them are all invaluable commodities.
Yet although it sounds like the ideal plan for aging, for seniors with dementia, there are a few concerns to be considered as well:
- Will the aging adult be safe when they’re alone?
- How will the older person get around once driving, or even walking, is challenging?
- What will happen if the older person becomes sick or hurt and no one’s near to help?
Thankfully, it is now easier than ever for seniors with dementia to stay safe and well cared for at home. These tips can help you in taking the necessary steps to ensure your loved one is prepared for these needs and any others, now and in the coming years:
- Inspect the home, both inside and out, from the viewpoint of the older person’s safety. Be sure that:
- Grab bars are in place beside the bathtub and toilet.
- Throw rugs and other tripping hazards are taken away.
- There’s plenty of lighting, including in hallways and stairways.
- Frequently used items are stored within easy reach.
- Emergency contact information is posted in a highly visible location.
- Form a transportation plan, so it is ready to implement when driving is no longer feasible:
- Research public transportation options that are available and easy to access.
- Set up a volunteer tree of trusted people the senior can call on for transportation when needed: friends, relatives, neighbors, religious organizations, local senior centers, 24/7 Idaho Home Care, etc.
- Ensure the older adult has access to the technology that can be used in an emergency to obtain help when alone, such as a PERS (personal emergency response system).
The most effective way to ensure seniors with dementia are safe and well cared for at home, however, is by engaging the services of a professional home care agency that provides specialized dementia care, such as 24/7 Idaho Home Care. Our caregivers are trained and have experience in meeting the unique needs of those with dementia. They’re also skilled in providing personal care services, transportation, meal planning and preparation, companionship and more for older adults who need a little support to stay safe and independent. We are here for you for as much or as little care as required.
We begin by establishing an individualized care plan to address the older adult’s distinct requirements and wishes, and then we regularly monitor that plan and modify it as needs change – ensuring that the senior stays safe and is able to live life to the fullest, where it’s most comfortable: right at home.