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Can people with dementia live alone at home? - Page 10 - Carers UK Forum

Can people with dementia live alone at home?

Share information, support and advice on all aspects of caring.
119 posts
Yes, a person can live alone and have dementia if the following things occur:

1. The dementia would have to be mild and the person would have to be capable of doing most of their ADL's by themselves.
2. It would be good if they had a friend to take care of them.
3. It would be good if they had meals on wheels or someone to give them a hand, but they can also help with groceries and other supplies.
All my working life I have worked as a carer up until 12 months ago when I gave it up to look after my mum who's I'll is failing ( just been diagnosed with vascular dementia )
In my job as a carer I have been to many ppl with dementia who have remained in their own homes .... as carers we have gone in to their homes up to 4 tines a day... plus done their shopping and cleaning .
We have gained entry to their property via the key safe so there was never any confusion with lost keys .... We gave changed sheets. ... put washer on ... hung over airer to dry and then ironed 2 days later ... We have prepared means and promoted medication .. so yes.... It is quite acceptable for someone with dementia to live at home
Some families have turned the gas /electric cooker off ( disconnected ) so accidents don't occur

Judi
Only wish my husband could live at home! But he can't, so I have to do my best for him and be his spokesperson at the nursing home. In the meantime I'm having to learn to be at home without him.
Jenny thank you. Being isolated isn't easy and there are times when I do just get frustrated. I dislike the labelling and the assumptions people make as soon as you mention Alzheimer’s. People can live at home with this disease, but it depends on how it affects them (how functional they can be) and the staging. Mum is still doing remarkably well after 6 years, 5 years of which she refused to take her donepezil until dad died and I gave her an ultimatum -take the tablets and I can help or...well you can guess!

Some people are very lucky to have an entire family around them and others have no one at all.

I've been reading other responses not related to my own posts. I guess in some ways this is the moment I always dreaded....both for me personally, but watching the slow decline in mum and then having to re-think things. I think emotional pain is one of the worse types of pain, because there is no painkiller a person can take for it, you just have to bare it in the best way you can and as some people stupidly say "find a coping mechanism" -I can say first hand that I've heard that a 100 times and it is the most unhelpful comment. What people need is reassurance and a cushion to fall on when it all goes wrong. Our emotions are felt, when things matter the most to us.

I only know one thing, those with dementia each experience it differently and how that experience evolves impacts on the carers, whoever they may be.

For me right now its about ensuring activity and social connection and making sure there is an element of safety for mum. After months of begging mum to have a pendant for help (she lives in rural Cheshire) she finally agreed. After seeing her friend a neighbour (two doors down) had one, she now wears it all the time and occasionally demonstrates it to other neighbours by accidentally pressing the button (roles eyes).

It is hard....very hard, but I can't say that mum living in her own home at the moment is a bad thing, its a very positive thing for her and she loves being at home. This weekend we went to see an old friend of mine in South Wales, only a short stay, but the difference in mum was marked. We got back home and she was back to herself again. One day somewhere in the future this may change depending on what happens and how nature takes its course....the day may come when her home isn't home anymore
I think this week has been hard because sometimes out of the blue changes come, and I find that scary. The one person who knows me the most last night didn't know who I was for a moment. Still safe in the house, but an uneasy feeling about it. Perhaps I should stop trying and accept the inevitable ?
Hiya..... even when our loved ones don't know us, momentarily or otherwise....we still know them.
Hang in there.....you may well find strengths you didn't even know you had.
Simon, I'm sure that even when our relatives with dementia don't know exactly who we are, they can sense that we love them.

However, maybe this would be a good time to do some forward planning? I always think it's better to make plans rather than end up in a crisis not knowing what to do.

None of us know exactly what the future will hold, but I always find it helpful to have some idea of what to do and where to go IF..... Do you know what services are available in your area for dementia? (Ask Social Services for a Needs/Carers Assessment) Day care? Respite care? Residential care? (Look at the Care Quality Commission website to see where they are, the latest reports. Visit the two which seem most appropriate).
Do you know everything you need to know about mum's finances. Where she banks, keeps her savings, made a will, Power of Attorney etc.?

How would you cope if mum started wandering? Became incontinent? (Pads available, Incontinence Nurse at the Surgery, etc.)
Yes you are both right :)

A vast majority of planning is done in one respect, which mum has done her self several months ago and wisely used a solicitor. She now has an LPA in place for property and financial affairs, she has however instructed her solicitor that health and wellbeing is to be held currently -which provision is made for should the situation change.

My problem is that I find it hard to accept the changes. I do eventually but it can take time for me to get to grips with them. I am a big emotional softy and love my mum very much -this as well as a great asset can also be a hindrance in some respects.

I have had long conversations with my sister over how we will deal with the stages and decline. My sister unfortunately has gone through this once already with her mother-in-law. She unfortunately can't help physically as much as she would like to as she has carer responsibilities as well.

For mum....the most important thing now is to make the most of the time we have left. And if that means continuing until it becomes apparent we can't anymore as we are, then that's what we will do.
You sound like a lovely son. My eldest is a Man Mountain, 52" chest, but he's a big softy as well. It's good to hear mum is doing fairly well at the moment.
Just remember that accepting you need a bit of help isn't a sign of failure, but of your commitment to care for as long as possible. So it's OK to say you need someone to do the housework, or prepare a meal, or do the washing, or whatever you find most difficult to deal with. It takes a while to accept another woman in the house, but it can help, especially if you choose someone who can become a friend/companion to mum.
My own mum hated the idea of having paid carers after a serious operation, but most of them were working mums with school aged children. Mum has always liked children, and enjoyed hearing about what they were doing, where they went, etc. I think it took her back to the time when she was a young mum herself.
Simon_16091 wrote:I think this week has been hard because sometimes out of the blue changes come, and I find that scary. The one person who knows me the most last night didn't know who I was for a moment. Still safe in the house, but an uneasy feeling about it. Perhaps I should stop trying and accept the inevitable ?
Simon, only you can judge when you've reached that point.

I'm concerned or your health - 12 hour shifts plus caring for your Mum at home must take a heavy toll on you. You are clearly doing the very best you can to keep your Mum in her own home for as long as possible, and I totally understand that way of thinking. However, if you are at the stage when you're tearful on a daily basis, maybe some things need to change, to save your own health. Can you get more support for your Mum? Or could you ask for reduced shifts/part time hours, so that you are not stretched so thin? Sorry if I'm stating the obvious (one more person spouting ideas you've heard before), but it sounds like it's all getting on top of you and something needs to change.
119 posts