5 Ways to Help Early Dementia Loved Ones Live Independently Longer

19 Aug 2020

When you have a loved one with dementia, you’re bound to worry about them living independently. However, there are many ways you can help them stay safe and still allow them their sense of independence.

  1. Help Them Become Social

Individuals with dementia who are living by themselves, often can’t manage their day-to-day activities that well when they’re feeling lonely. The good news is you can get them involved socially such as encouraging them to:

  • Chat with people regularly
  • Join a support group
  • Read to kids at the library
  • Volunteer at a community organization or local school

  1. Get Them Exercising

Your loved one doesn’t necessarily have to join a gym or spend money on workout videos or programs. They can benefit even from walking around the neighborhood, gardening or doing light housework. Two recommended exercises are strength training (i.e. lifting weights) and aerobic exercise (i.e walking).

  1. Have Them Take Advantage of Telecare

Technology advances mean there’s now an increasing range of services and products to help your loved one with dementia live safely and independently. Telecare systems can help keep them safe. Some examples of telecare devices are:

  • Fire and smoke alarms
  • Fixed position or portable alarms that activate a high-pitched sound for alerting someone
  • Telecare systems like detectors or sensors that send a signal automatically to a caregiver or monitoring center by phone
  • Movement sensors such as those that detect if your loved one has fallen
  • Pill dispensers that will release their medicine at appropriate intervals

Their local council might provide them with a telecare system if they’ve had a needs assessment. However, you might have to help pay some of the costs for this.

  1. Utilize GPS tracking for Elderly, Dementia Patients

There are a few options for GPS tracking locator systems, but most are specifically designed for protecting your most vulnerable loved ones. Some features of GPS tracking for elderly, dementia patients are:

  • Provides more reliable and accurate location information and signals than other types of services
  • All-day tracking so you know where they’re at at all times
  • An assistive speakerphone ensuring you can talk to your loved one even if they forgot their phone
  • An alert systems that notifies you the minute they leave a safe location or arrive at an unexpected location

The lifesaving emergency features of GPS tracking for dementia patients will activate a search and rescue team if your loved one goes missing and help the team quickly find your loved one and bring them back to safety.

  1. Ask for Help

You can contact the local dementia society, senior care worker, or community support agency about helping with caregiving, transportation, or meal preparation. You could also leave a trusted neighbor a set of keys.

With the proper care and support, it is totally possible for your loved one with Dementia to continue living independently and enjoy the comfort of their own home for longer than you may have thought possible – maybe even the rest of their life.

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