Is It Safe to Leave Seniors Who Have Dementia Alone?

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Is It Dangerous to Leave Older Adults with Dementia Alone at Home in Richmond, VA

Caregivers often wonder about the need to stay with their aging loved ones with dementia around the clock. In the early stages of dementia, many seniors seem perfectly fine most of the time, and even those in the later stages of the disease often have periods of lucidity. Although it may seem as though you should be able to leave your loved one alone for at least a few minutes, you need to consider these potential issues that could arise if he or she is left unattended. 

Consider the Possibility of Wandering

Your loved one may never try to leave the home while someone else is around, but wandering may occur if he or she is suddenly left at home alone and begins to worry. Dementia symptoms could cause your loved one to forget that you said you were leaving, which may make him or her try to look for you. Alternatively, your parent might get bored and decide to explore. 

Caring for a senior with dementia can be challenging for family caregivers. Luckily, there is dementia care Richmond families can rely on. Professional dementia caregivers help seniors with dementia stay safe and comfortable at home by preventing wandering, providing cognitive stimulation, and assisting with household chores. 

Prevent Fires

Your loved one may suddenly get hungry after you leave or think he or she hasn’t eaten yet. While you may normally handle the cooking, your loved one may try to do it independently. Many house fires are started when seniors forget they’re cooking and leave their stoves turned on. With dementia, your loved one may not recognize warning signs such as the scent of smoke until it’s too late. 

Protect against Scammers & Other Criminals

Seniors are often the targets of scammers, and those with dementia might not detect potential criminal activity due to changes in their reasoning abilities. While alone, your loved one could answer a scam phone call and provide his or her personal information. Your loved one might also open the door to a criminal if he or she thinks the person looks familiar. Make sure your loved one always has a companion nearby to watch for potential scams when your parent is interacting with other people. 

Avoid Serious Medication Mishaps

Without someone there, your loved one might try to take medication without supervision. Due to cognitive challenges, your parent may take the wrong medication. Memory loss could also cause your loved one to try to take the medication after you leave, even though it was already taken before you left. 

Seniors with dementia may need help handling their medications and accomplishing other daily tasks. Families looking for top-rated Richmond in-home care providers can reach out to Home Care Assistance. From respite care to specialized Alzheimer’s, dementia, stroke, and Parkinson’s care, there are many ways we can make life easier for seniors and their loved ones.

Supervise to Prevent Poor Decisions

There are so many other things your loved one might do while at home alone that it’s difficult to predict what could happen. Your loved one could try to climb a ladder to change a lightbulb, or he or she might buy expensive items while watching a home shopping show. With dementia, the ability to make good decisions can come and go. 

If your senior loved one has been diagnosed with a serious condition and needs help with tasks like meal prep, transportation, bathing, and grooming, reach out to Home Care Assistance, a leading provider of senior care families can trust. We also offer comprehensive care for seniors with dementia, Alzheimer’s, and Parkinson’s. If you need professional home care for your loved one, reach out to one of our Care Managers today at (804) 207-4746.


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