Written by Active Minds on Thursday the 27th of June 2019.
Living somewhere which is familiar, comfortable and safe is important to everyone, and especially so for those living with dementia. A common misconception for someone with dementia is that care homes are inevitable, when in fact there are many people living with dementia who stay independent at home.
As each person’s journey is different, with some living independently for longer, whilst others require increased care, it is important to consider each case independently. For those who can still live independently at home, small adjustments may be needed to the home environment to ensure it is as safe as possible. Here we discuss some top tips for those living with dementia who live alone to ensure a healthy balanced lifestyle.
One of the biggest concerns for living independently whilst progressing along the dementia journey is safety. Thankfully, there are a number of ways to ensure the safety of yourself or your loved one. Thanks to developments in technology automatic timers for things such as the kettle, oven, heating and lights are available which can reduce the risks which may be associated with leaving them on.
Devices can also be installed in the home, and worn on the person, which can detect should a fall occur and call the emergency services.
Another factor to consider when living alone is accessibility around the home. As we age mobility may become reduced and as such implementing things such as railings and accessible bathrooms can help your loved one get around safely.
As people progress along their dementia journey, things such as cooking may become difficult and nutrition can be affected. Confusion and memory issues can cause problems with health and wellbeing when it comes to food and drink, therefore food delivery services may be beneficial.
There are various food delivery companies which cater to those living with dementia. This method ensures that you or your loved one has access to nutritious meals, delivered to the door which can remove the stress and worry surrounding cooking and food shopping.
It is isn’t just safety which is important when living independently, socialisation is a vital part of living a balanced and healthy lifestyle. When living with dementia social isolation and withdrawal can be common, and as such for those living independently it is important to explore different socialisation opportunities.
There are many different befriending services out there which look to help those on their dementia journey and give them the opportunity to socialise. A befriender is someone who comes and spends time with the person regularly, either at their home or in a community setting. There are even options for telephone befriending whereby someone calls regularly for a chat. Services like this allow those living with dementia to have companionship and get a good level of socialisation.
For someone living with dementia, daily tasks such as cleaning and cooking can become increasingly more difficult and as such assistance may be required. A carer which visits regularly to check on your loved one may be the perfect option to ensure they are living a healthy and happy life, whilst still getting independence.