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Can your loved one stay home alone? PDF Print E-mail
Written by Administrator   
Thursday, 19 April 2012 17:57

As a caregiver, you may have to decide if it is still possible to leave the elder in your care alone for an hour, afternoon, or even an entire day. Will they wander away? Will they let a stranger into the house?

Making such a decision is both complicated and emotionally challenging for you and your loved one. For you, it may mean a loss of flexibility, requiring you to develop new strategies to carry out daily tasks and errands. For your loved one, it may be difficult to acknowledge physical and/or cognitive changes may limit their independence.

Elders home alone: 10 questions to ask

  1. Do they know where the door is located and can they leave the house in a safe manner?
  2. If they go outside, do they recognize where they live and understand how to get back inside their house?
  3. Do they know how to access emergency services? Do they know how and when to dial 911? Are they able to communicate problems over the phone?
  4. If they leave the house, will they remain close or wander off?
  5. Can they get to the restroom by themselves and use it on their own? If not, have alternatives been discussed?
  6. Are they frightened to be left home alone?
  7. Can they prepare a meal for themselves? Do they know how to use the stove and remember to turn it off?
  8. Do they understand how to recognize a stranger and have the judgment to identify who they should allow into the home?
  9. Can they identify danger warnings in the house, such as fire alarms or smoke?
  10. Do they know where there medication is located? Do they have the cognitive capacity to take the proper medicine in the correct dosages?
If you answer 'no' to any of the questions, it may no longer be safe to leave your elder alone--even for short periods of time. Yet, if you feel your loved one can remain at home safely, be sure to reassess the situation on a regular basis.

Caregiving is a dynamic process and you should always be aware of changes in your elder's condition.  Call us Today!