You and your aging adult are likely aware of all the ways that dementia can change her life, but did you know that it can affect her overall safety, too? Paying particular attention to some of these areas can help you to get her the assistance that she needs the most.
Her Judgment Is Affected
Your elderly family member might start to make decisions that don’t mesh with her prior decisions. She might also start to think some dangerous ideas are great, such as leaving burners on or eating spoiled foods. It can be difficult to spot this at times, because your aging adult might not mention all of her “new ideas” out loud first.
Her Behavior Changes
In the past, you may have been able to predict your aging adult’s behavior with some accuracy. As her dementia progresses, however, it becomes more difficult to predict or even to be able to understand some of her behaviors. She might be afraid now in situations that never caused her fear before or she might be suspicious of other people’s motives. Understanding that the dementia is causing this can help you to cope.
How Her Senses Function Changes
Because your elderly family member’s brain isn’t functioning the same way that it has in the past, how her senses function is also going to change. This happens because sensory organs, like her eyes and ears, take in information, but the brain is what interprets that information. So your elderly family member may become more sensitive to heat or cold, sounds, or even smells.
She Has Less Sense of Time and Place
Time and place become a significant problem for aging adults with dementia. This is often what forces them to stop driving, whether they’re ready to do that or not. Your elderly family member might become confused about where she is even in her own home.
She May Experience Physical Changes
Physical changes are common, too. Your elderly family member might start to have trouble with her balance or she might start to sleep more than she did in the past. If you’re seeing changes that are upsetting to you or to your senior or that are particularly unsafe, make sure that you bring them up with her doctor so that you can address as many of them as possible.
To help with safety, consider hiring home health care providers. They can help your elderly family member at home and when she’s out and about, too.