Is Your Elderly Parent OK? If Home AlonePosté le April 19, 2017 par Ressources Soins Aînés Québec en Alzheimer / Perte de mémoire, AVC-Accident Vasculaire Cérébral, Bénévolat, Blog - English, Droit des aînés, Éducation, Éducation aux Aidants, Gestion des soins gériatriques, Hébergements, Information de Soins de longue durée, Personne Autonome, Soins pour la Démence
Confusion and Dementia can create danger for the Elderly
As the caregiver for your elderly parent, you may have to decide if it is still possible to leave them alone for an hour, an afternoon or an entire day. Will they be safe? Will they wander off? Will they let strangers into the house? Will they turn on the stove and forget to turn it off?
Making this decision can be a complicated and emotionally wrenching experience for you and your parent. It can be heartbreaking to recognize that the strong, self-sufficient adult you have known for years is no longer capable of taking care of themselves. It also means a real loss of freedom and flexibility and may require you to develop creative strategies to accomplish daily errands and tasks. For your parent, it can be equally difficult to acknowledge and accept that physical, emotional or mental changes have reduced their independence.
There are numerous factors to consider when making this decision. But first, it is important to understand that loss of sight, hearing loss, memory loss, confusion, incontinence and depression are not normal aspects of aging. In many, if not most cases, these are treatable conditions. Failure to identify them as being treatable could place your parent at risk of unnecessary functional decline. On the other hand, successful treatment can restore some or all of your parent’s capabilities of functioning independently.
Have you or your parent discussed their problems with a physician? And, if the first doctor dismissed them as being due to old age, did you see another doctor for a second opinion? (A surprising number of doctors don’t have the training to help aging adults overcome their problems.)
It is important to balance the safety of your parent with your needs to retain as much independence as possible. As a result, you should include as many people as you can in the decision-making process, especially your parent. You may also want to consult with other caregivers, such as family members and friends; paid caregivers who know your parent’s abilities and limitations; and elder care professionals such as doctors, nurses, and social workers.
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