Understanding Dementia: Keeping Your Loved One Safe After A Diagnosis Of Dementia

When a loved one has been diagnosed with dementia, this doesn't mean an immediate move to a nursing home for supervised care. People in early stages of dementia can still live home independently, with some safety measures put into place. Once the dementia progresses, it will be time for a more structured environment such as assisted living or a nursing home. You can set up your loved one at home where they have the support necessary to remain independent as long as possible. With medication reminders, meal delivery, and rides to doctor appointments, a person dealing with early dementia can remain at home with help.

Assess Their Ability in the Kitchen

One way many people learn that they are having memory problems is a newly developed inability to prepare a meal. It will start with forgetting that a pan is on the stove, or a meal is in the oven. It's easy to get confused when you have dementia, even when you are able to keep yourself safe at home. If your loved one has trouble cooking, you can prepare meals ahead of time or have a meal delivery set up. Unplug the stove to remove the fire hazard and make sure they have a microwave to heat up meals.

If Your Loved One Still Drives

Another early sign of dementia is getting lost while driving in places that are familiar. If your loved one is still driving, it is likely time to consider whether they need to stop. To keep your loved one and others protected, you will have to have the conversation about no longer driving. This is a hard conversation, but if your loved one wants to remain living independently, it's important to keep them safe from their own inability to drive safely.

Know When It's Time to Move to a Higher Level of Care

While you can keep a loved one with dementia safe at home for awhile, you have to know when it's time to move to a higher level of care. If your loved one begins wandering frequently, getting lost, or is fearful about living home alone, it's time to find a more appropriate level of care. When your loved one is no longer to take care of their daily living needs, they will benefit from an assisted living facility or nursing home. While it's a hard decision to make, the safety of your loved one is the most important aspect to consider.