Home Alone – Is Your Elderly Parent OK?Posté le avril 19, 2017 par Ressources Soins Aînés Québec en Alzheimer - Perte de Mémoire, AVC-Accident Vasculaire Cérébral, Bénévolat, Blog - English, Éducation, Éducation aux Aidants, Gestion des soins gériatriques, Hébergements, Information de Soins de longue durée, Personne Autonome, Soins pour la Démence
Confusion and Dementia create danger for the Elderly
Checklist on being home alone
Here are some questions that can guide you in making your decision. If the answer to any question is “no,” it may no longer be possible for your parent to be left alone, even for a short period of time.
- Do they understand how to leave the home if necessary? Do they know where the door is located and how to exit the building?
- Will they stay home or near the house rather than wander off?
- If they go outside, do they know where they live and how to get back inside?
- Can they identify signals, such as smoke from the kitchen or fire alarms, that would alert them to potential dangers?
- Do they know how to access emergency services? Do they know how and when to dial 911? Would they be able to communicate over the phone? Can they physically get to a phone no matter where they are?
- Do they have difficulty walking? Have they fallen — not counting a trip or stumble — once or more in the past year?
- Do they have frequent life-threatening medical emergencies that require immediate intervention? Do they know where any medication they might need is located? Can they reach it? Do they have the capacity to select the right medicines in the correct amounts?
- Do they have the judgment to identify who they should and should not let into the home? Will they know to allow family, friends and emergency personnel into the home?
- Can they prepare something to eat if they get hungry? Do they know how to use the stove, and will they remember to turn it off?
- Can they get to the bathroom and use the toilet on their own? If not, have alternatives been worked out?
- Are they afraid to be alone for an hour or more? Do they become clingy when you leave and make frequent telephone calls when they are alone?
If you decide that it is still safe to leave your parent at home alone, you should regularly reassess the situation. Caregiving is a dynamic process — you need to be aware of any and all changes in your parent’s condition and abilities. Even if you think they can be left home by themselves, pay attention to their desires; if they fear being alone, it could be a sign that at some level they know they are not capable of coping with any emergencies that might arise.
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