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Persons living with dementia, especially in the earlier stages of dementia, may choose to live alone to maintain their independence for as long as possible, or to remain in a familiar neighbourhood. As the dementia progresses to moderate and advanced stages, it is likely that alternate living arrangements have to be made.

Here are some tips for you if you are a care professional working with persons with dementia who live alone.

  • Make self-care easier

    They may forget to shower, change their clothes and have their meals. They may also forget to perform housekeeping duties, or to feed pets, amongst other tasks.
    ● Arrange for meal delivery services and housekeeping services..
    ● Write reminders and stick them on places they will look at (fridge, bedroom, living room, etc.). For example, you could write notes that read “Feed the pets”, “Remember to turn off the stove”, “Sweep the floor”, etc..
    ● Large and easy-to-read clocks and calendars will help the person to orient themselves to the time and date.
  • Improve safety in the home

    They may lack judgment in dangerous situations such as those involving hazardous electrical appliances and slippery floors.
    ● Install non-slip mats and grab bars in the bathroom.
    ● Remove hazards from the house such as faulty kitchen appliances, clutter, fire hazards and broken furniture.
    ● Use technology in the form of monitoring systems to help track the person’s mobility in the house.
  • Involve others in the person’s care

    A person living with dementia may exhibit behaviour that is hard to understand or accept. This may lead to unfriendliness or trouble with the neighbours, the police, and the community.
    ● Involve their family members in caregiving and encourage them to take turns to visit their loved one regularly. If regular visiting is not possible, encourage them to communicate regularly with their loved one via phone call or text.

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