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Should Your Parent Live at Home With Dementia?

April 5, 2019

woman smiling in a wheelchair

For every senior, it’s important to make sure living at home is safe. But, for those with dementia, you may need to take extra steps to ensure safety.

If you’ve decided to keep your parent with dementia at home as long as possible, routinely review if staying home is meeting his or her needs. Start by reviewing these eight areas to avoid any potential dangers.

Keep the Kitchen Safe

From the stove to cooking utensils, the kitchen often has many hazards for someone with dementia. Consider placing knives or other sharp items where they aren’t easily accessible. You might also want to invest in a stove that includes safety features if your loved one forgets to turn it off.

Monitor Driving

If your loved one has dementia, it’s important to talk about driving early. As his or her condition progresses, your parent may forget directions or fail to follow traffic signals. Monitor his or her driving and be realistic about when it’s time to make other arrangements. Many delivery or transportation services exist to help make the transition easier.

Remove Weapons

Memory conditions may cause your parent to become confused, even when a loved one enters the house. Avoid a tragic accident by removing or locking up weapons like guns. You might also consider other items in the house that might pose a risk – such as knives or gardening tools.

Review Medication

Your parent with dementia will need help with medications. So, have someone dedicated to giving medications and keeping a log. In addition, you’ll want to keep all medicines in a locked cabinet to prevent mom or dad from accidentally taking additional doses.

Consider Hot Water

Take the time to check the temperature of your loved one’s hot water heater. According to the Alzheimer’s Association, it may be hard for your parent with dementia to tell the difference between hot and cold. Ensure that the temperature is set to 120 Fahrenheit.

Prevent Falls

Falls are one of the top concerns for seniors. Make your loved one’s home easy to navigate by getting rid of extra furniture pieces, throw rugs, or floor lamps. The bathroom is another important place to consider. Install grab bars and non-slip features to reduce the risk of falling.

Prepare for Emergencies

In the event of an emergency, you want your loved one to have quick access to important phone numbers. Therefore, place a list in every room in the house – on the nightstand, on the living room side table, and on the fridge. You might also research home medical alert systems for added peace of mind.

Manage Finances

Your loved one with dementia will need extra help with household budgeting and finances. Gather important financial and legal information like expenses, investments, wills, and accounts before mom or dad’s condition progresses. If you need more help, consider hiring a professional to get finances on the right track.

Overall, be sure you have a plan to care for your loved one in the long term. Review these Alzheimer’s warning signs. Then, talk with mom and dad about the best place to live when living at home is no longer safe. Autumn Leaves is here to help you find the right care for your parent.


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