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Discussion in 'Welcome and how to use Dementia Talking Point' started by Wingate, Dec 7, 2019.
How do you know when dementia patients are not safe in their own home.
If you're asking this question it means you are already concerned for their safety. Maybe you could offer some details of your concerns as there are many people here who are further down the road who will be able to give you good advice.
Welcome to Dementia Talking Point @Wingate
I think it varies from person to person. With my dad it was when he lost mobility and started to have frequent falls. He also didn’t recognise his home and used to get very confused and distressed when the family, all long grown up and flown the nest, didn’t come home for dinner. That was the point at which I decided it was time for dad to move into full time care.
Other examples I’ve seen have been wandering, aggression, leaving the gas on, turning the heating off etc etc...
My dad was ok for a long while with visits from me and carers to help him cope and there are devices to help manage some of the problems that come up when caring for someone with dementia.
When you feel ready to be more specific I’m sure someone will be along with helpful suggestions.
One other issue is eating and drinking. A person with dementia may tell you they are eating and drinking (and they may believe it) but they may not be. My mother lost a lot of weight despite saying she was absolutely fine, and it was at that point I got carers in to ensure she had two meals a day. They prepared the meals - but she also needed prompting to eat and drink, and needed to be supervised to ensure she did.
She also had other issues by that point - she couldn't remember how to use the washing machine, and she occasionally got lost at the local shops. And she regularly lost/forgot her keys and shut herself out. She wasn't actually setting fire to the flat or having regular falls, but she couldn't complete basic every-day tasks and was repeatedly asking help from neighbours.
Edit - sorry I was answering a slightly different question. The above applies to when she could not be safely left to live independently, and started having carers coming in for several hours. When she needed supervision 24/7 the issue which tipped the balance was wandering - going outside and becoming lost, and increasing reliance on neighbours to bail her out.
My mother was finding day to day tasks more difficult and was refusing to consider any help coming in. For me the crunch point was not just her continued harassment of the neighbours who she thought lived in her flat, but the fact mum had started going to the next door pub to drink with random men.
Hi @Wingate as others have said, you obviously have some concerns, if you are asking this question. With my mother-in-law, who was on her own in her own home, even with carers three times a day, there were three main tipping points. Firstly she was a high falls risk and her safety could not be guaranteed overnight. Secondly, she needed prompting with drinking whenever the carers weren't there, so was at risk of dehydration. Thirdly she couldn't remember where her bathroom was in her own home. After a hospital stay, she went into care.