Knowing the Risk

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Alzheimer’s and Dementia
Personal Senior Care Homes has done the research and there are more than 5 million people in the U.S. with Alzheimer’s disease. An estimated 800,000 of those live alone. Sadly, these people are at a high risk! If you’ve ever been in a position to try to convince someone with Alzheimer’s or dementia to move from their home, you know it is difficult. Is it safe for your loved one to remain in their home, at least for a little while? The answer is unfortunately, no. A person with Alzheimer’s disease or dementia who lives alone is at increased risk of:

• Falling
• Untreated medical conditions
• Wandering away from home
• Driving
• Accidental death
• Isolation and loneliness
• Poor hygiene

A common question that often arises is, “Would it be safe to have my loved one to remain in their home, at least for a while?” The answer depends on the stage of the disease. Many people should not be left alone at all if there are other impacting health conditions. The other critical issue is where they live and the type of dwelling, they live in. Personal Senior Care Homes are ranch homes that have been professionally modified to meet the needs of their residents

Safety precautions in the home
Because abilities decrease over time, so does the ability to live alone. This is where knowledge can help you understand when risk have become too great. What steps can be taken to help a loved one stay safely at home for a longer time?

More about safety issues for your consideration

When looking at the home environment to eliminate fall risks, look for potential tripping hazards, such as steps or stairs, area rugs, clutter on the floor, electrical cords, etc. Introduce assistive devices, such as a cane, walker or wheelchair, where needed; ensure walkways are well lit; install grab bars in the bathroom and safety handrails on stairways. Physical and occupational therapists can be hired to assist in the home, as well as when introducing assistive devices. Ask the primary care physician for a referral for a home safety evaluation.

Just this is a lot of responsibility to ensure the resident is safe and a true reason to pursue the alternative of aging in place at Personal Senior Care Homes. We have all of these safety issues covered!

Are you concerned about the diagnosed continuing to drive? Driving evaluations are one way to resolve that question. Driving evaluations are conducted at local hospitals, the DMV, rehabilitation hospitals, and some private occupational practices. The American Occupational Therapy Association has a good resource for finding a driving evaluation specialist.

This is a very serious consideration because of injury or the potential harm to someone else not to mention the diagnosed getting lost and not to be able to find their way home. Accidents happen! This put the driver at a greater risk of injury not to mention the liability of hurting someone else or their property.

This is another top reason to consider Personal Senior Care Homes! The resident is in a safe place and has access to whatever they need therefore negating the need for them to drive anywhere!

Because a person with Alzheimer’s can become disoriented or confused, and wander at any stage of the disease, consider one of the following products to help locate them in the event they wander:

GPS devices such as shoes, watches, necklaces and ankle bracelets

ID jewelry

Again, at Personal Senior Care Homes the resident is safe in their own space and their belongings are secure! It is our business to provide peace of mind and a safe secure environment.

Medication Management and Untreated Medical Conditions
It is possible early in the disease to manage medications with just a weekly pillbox that a family member fills and checks regularly. Another method often employed is daily calls with medication reminders. Eventually, it will be necessary for medications to be administered directly by a family member or other caregiver. Often making the expense of an in-home caregiver an added financial responsibility. Health concerns, too, need to be monitored, as the resident is at risk of not following up with physicians, or being unaware of new symptoms needing medical attention.

Because Personal Senior Care Homes has a 1.5 ratio in caregiving and with a full-time nurse on staff, we are keenly aware of each resident’s medical condition and we monitor them 24/7. Our caregiver’s will administer their medication.

This issue too can be managed from a home setting, but will take the support of others to keep our loved one socially engaged. Community resources for socialization include churches, community centers, senior centers and adult day centers. Depending on the stage of the disease, consider a local gym, fitness center or walking club membership.

At Personal Senior Care Homes, the resident is never alone. They have the freedom to be engaged with others 24/7 and are always under the watchful eye of the caregiver.

Personal hygiene (bathing, dressing, foot care for diabetics, dental care), may require the support of family or a hired caregiver. Household tasks include cooking and food preparation, shopping, housekeeping and personal care. There are ways to manage this care—through the services of an Aging Life Care Professional (formerly known as a Geriatric Care Manager) or by building a team of family and friends to assist. If friends and family are the care team, be sure to monitor their ongoing ability to provide care. Someone will need to monitor who comes and goes and how long people are in the home.

As you can see the diagnosed has a multitude of issues when trying to keep them in their own home. At Personal Senior Care Homes, we take pride in their care and safety. It will always take the ongoing monitoring by family or hired caregivers to address new concerns.

Allowing these individuals to take the chance to be in their home is a very risky business! Personal Senior Care Homes will take the risk out for them and for you!

When in doubt about what steps to take call us at Personal Senior Care Homes or request a tour. We know what to do. We are here to help! Ultimately, your loved one’s well-being is most important!

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