With each year that passes, safety becomes more of an issue for your parent. It can be critical with Alzheimer’s or dementia. Be sure to look around your parent’s home with safety in mind.
It might not be alarming to arrive at their home to a tea kettle scorched from running out of water, but have you arrived to a smoke filled kitchen? If your loved one goes out, whether to the store or for a walk, does he or she always remember how to get back? Have you checked their refrigerator lately? Did you find expired milk or leftover food that smelled funny? That is something that may not enter their minds.
There are plenty of little dangers that make have major effects on a senior who is not able to really care for him/herself. Then there are the not-so-dangerous things. So many things can happen that they are incapable of handling. Little things like putting the remote control in the trash, or an overflowing dishwasher because they’ve used the wrong soap, or bigger thing like not hearing or recognizing the smoke alarm needing a battery change. A big thing like not knowing how to call for help or to dial 911.
I hope you will pay attention to each of these things. Watch too, if you have both parents. Even without dementia, the two of them may be incapable of taking care of each other. When one is sick the other might not understand it. If medication is involved, it grows more urgent. If they reach that point, they may need much more supervision.
You’ll find some of the above happens easily with the aging (with anyone actually), but it may be far less often. With Alzheimer’s and dementia, you can expect it to reach this point.
They will be unable to take care of themselves. When that time comes, chances are they won’t recognize it. It may be your decision, not theirs.