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Living Home Alone with Dementia is Safety Balancing Act

Posted by Joe B. Nester on May 6, 2015 at 6:40 AM

The safety of a loved one living alone at home is a concern for a lot of family member caregivers. A study conducted by John Hopkins in 2013 found significant issues when looking at 254 home assessments they performed with people living alone with dementia and 246 interviews with their informal, non-professional caregivers. The study found  99% of the people with dementia and 97% of their caregivers had one or more unmet needs. 90% of those unmet needs were safety related.

 

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There are many safety issues facing a person living alone with dementia. The person may not have the ability to make good decisions about their day to day care. Falling, wandering, malnutrition and an inability to take care of personal hygiene are some of the complications that can contribute to an unsafe living condition.


 

In addition to the physical challenges of staying safe in the home, a person with dementia will often feel isolated and alone. Loneliness can lead to depression and further lower quality of life for the individual.


 

The study also showed that more than 60% of the people with dementia had medical needs related and unrelated to their dementia. The researches surmised that earlier and better routine medical care could significantly reduce the number of potential future hospitalizations within the study group.


 

The Journal of the American Geriatrics Society in that same year reported that most caregivers have multiple unmet needs, including lack of access to resources and referrals to support services and education about how to best care for a loved one with dementia.


 

Planning ahead is one way to limit exposure to safety issues when a loved one is diagnosed with dementia. The caregiver should look within the community to see what resources might be available. Help with meals and transportation are two important areas to research. Durable Medical Equipment companies will often do free home assessments and point out areas in the home that can be improved with simple solutions. Education is an important part of the equation and senior care providers can be a good source of information for caregivers.


 

http://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/news/media/releases/living_at_home_with_dementia


http://www.alz.org/i-have-alz/if-you-live-alone.asp#safety


Senior Care Real Estate Needs – Joe B. Nester serves the Real Estate Needs of our Senior Clients. Joe is currently a licensed Realtor and the Director of Internet Marketing for Agapé Senior. Visit link and ask Joe any question about Real Estate and Senior Care. Or call (803) 730-7269.

 



 


Categories: Real Estate, Editor's Choice

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