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5 Actions that May Mean Your Loved One is No Longer Safe at Home Alone

Gallery female resident enjoying the flowers

As we journey through life, we inevitably encounter changes, both expected and unexpected. While some transformations are part of the natural aging process, others may stem from conditions like Alzheimer’s disease or various forms of dementia, silently shaping our experiences without our awareness. At times, these subtle shifts can be challenging to discern amidst the ebb and flow of everyday life.

In this article, we identify key indicators that suggest your loved one may find greater comfort and safety in a more supportive environment.

Losing keys happens to everyone, but when someone leaves home and can’t find their way back, or gets lost on familiar routes like to church or the grocery store, it’s a serious concern. If your loved one starts forgetting these well-known places they’ve visited countless times, it’s time to take notice.
Another warning sign is wandering, often seen in Alzheimer’s disease. Wandering involves getting lost or confused about where they are, even in familiar places they’ve known for years.

Another troubling sign that your loved one may need Assisted Living or Memory Care is a decline in spatial awareness. Things like taking food off someone else’s plate accidentally, or taking another person’s belongings and thinking they are yours, is a sign that something’s not right. Accidents happen of course, but if you start seeing a pattern of this behavior, you may want to consult your loved one’s doctor.

Sometimes seniors who live alone can get confused about proper boundaries and may start going places they are not invited to. This can include entering restricted areas in public spaces, or even wandering into other people’s homes uninvited. If your loved one is overstepping boundaries like this, that’s a very serious indicator that they are having memory problems.

In some more extreme cases of memory loss such as dementia or advanced Alzheimer’s, your elderly loved one could be experiencing hallucinations or delusions.

  • Hallucinations could be seeing or hearing things that aren’t there, such as animals, people, sounds or voices. This can be very troubling for both your loved one and yourself.
  • Delusions are strongly held false beliefs, that seem very real to the person experiencing them. For example, your loved one could be convinced that someone has stolen their jewelry when really it has just been misplaced, or they have forgotten where they typically store it.

If your loved one seems more frightened, paranoid, or confused than usual, they may be experiencing symptoms of Alzheimer’s Disease or other forms of dementia without knowing it.

Lastly, your loved one may be suffering from unsafe cognitive decline that could have potentially dangerous consequences. It’s one thing to mix up sugar and salt, but mixing up simple items like water and bleach could spell trouble. This could also indicate that your loved one may be having trouble taking the correct amount of medicine, perhaps forgetting if they’ve taken it, taking twice the amount, or simply forgetting about taking it at all. Warning signs like these are the reason why The Gallery’s Memory Care communities offer medication management.

If your loved one is experiencing any of the above situations, it’s best to consult their doctor. In some cases, your loved one may not feel as if they are experiencing any problems, so speaking with a medical professional can help you breach the subject carefully, while also obtaining proper care or medication.
Remember, you’re not alone; our team is here to support both you and your loved one. At The Gallery, our comprehensive memory care program is designed to offer personalized care for those with Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s-related conditions, vascular issues, and other forms of dementia. If you have questions or need help navigating these issues, you can contact us by calling (855) 222-4470 or email us today.