Home Care in Old Greenwich CT
While home safety is top priority for all seniors, those that carry the weight of dementia have some special concerns. As the disease progresses, their short-term memory wanes along with their ability to reason. Time and place become uncertain and suspicion and fear become commonplace.
Memory and a Safe Environment
Loss of memory poses unique safety issues for those with dementia. It’s easy to forget the activities that become automatic. We turn the stove on and off, turn the cold or hot water on, and put a bit of salt and pepper on our food instead of half the bottle. These are daily activities that can be confusing to those with dementia. And in their confusion, harm or illness can be the by-products. There are devices and tools to help you and your loved one through the concerns associated with this disease. At some point in the illness, the stove will have to be off-limits. In order to accomplish this, knobs can be removed or locked. Access to hot water needs to be limited by keeping the gauge set for water at a temperature lower than average. The recommended temperature is 120 degrees or below. Any edible items, or items that could be confused as edible, but aren’t, need to be locked away in a cabinet accessible only by keys that are not readily available.
Your parent knows the neighborhood park like the back of their hand. They took you and your siblings there when you were young and continued to enjoy picnics and family gatherings well into your adulthood. Unfortunately, time and place can be altered for those with dementia. The park, the trees, the shadows may illuminate a whole different environment to those with dementia, one that is foreign and filled with fear. Keep this in mind before venturing to any gatherings. Remember that doors and windows will need to be camouflaged, if possible, to keep your parent safe in their home until you or another loved one can accompany them on a social outing.
Change in Behavior
Fear, suspicion and mood swings can become apparent in someone who was once easy going and fearless. Changes in synapses and neurons create loss of memory, language, reasoning and ultimately difficulty with social behavior and how those affected see the world that surrounds them. Lighting is a big issue in this area. Shadows and dark spaces can create shapes and unease where none need to exist. Keep all areas well lit and consider installing sensor lights that go on with movement. Realize that they may not recognize the 50-year-old you, but a picture of the 17-year-old you will bring back heart-felt memories. To this end, place memorabilia in well-lit areas.
At some point, it will become apparent that your parent requires additional supervision. When that time comes, consider obtaining the services of a home care provider. These professionals have worked with countless seniors facing similar situations. They understand their needs and communication barriers. Not only will they assist with the daily activates of living, but they will provide that all-important companionship crucial to your parent as they face the uncertainty of dementia.
If you or an aging loved one are considering home care in Old Greenwich, CT or the surrounding areas, please contact SYNERGY HomeCare of Stamford, CT at 203-661-6969.