Living at home with dementia can be risky and potentially dangerous, especially for those living alone. The broad term “dementia” refers to impairment to the brain cells. This makes it harder for the person to retain information. The thinking process becomes difficult.
More than 5-million people suffer from Alzheimer’s disease, the most common form of dementia. People who develop Alzheimer’s begin to forget basic things, lose short-term memory and have trouble processing what’s being told to them. They start to forget the names of some family members and friends, where they are, what certain things are called, directions to places they frequent and possibly even where they live.
Unfortunately, there is no cure yet.
A few of the dangers of living at home with dementia with or without a caretaker are the following:
- Taking daily medications. This can become dangerous because they may forget which pill is which and take the wrong medicine at the wrong time. Also, they could end up taking too many pills or forget to take them all together.
- Driving may become dicey for those living alone because when the memory gets foggier, they can forget where they live and even some basics of road safety.
- The kitchen is rife with danger for those with dementia. Cooking breakfast, lunch or dinner may lead to mishandling knives, leaving burners on or picking up hot pots without a potholder or towel.
Careful planning and some kind words may go a long way to help prevent a catastrophe in the home of someone living with dementia. And getting help for that person could be a lifesaver.