If you have recently been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s or another form of dementia, you’re probably trying to find out as much information as possible about this illness and the changes that will occur.
But if you are single or live alone, you may also be concerned about the future. If you don’t have family or friends that can step in as your caregiver, you may begin to fear how you will be able to go through this by yourself.
The good news is that you don’t need to face this alone. Memory care communities are available to fill in the gap when more care is required.
For those in the early stages of dementia, you’ll likely be able to remain at home. You’ll want to make sure your home is safe and should plan now to make any adjustments that may be needed. Finding others, either family members, friends or other groups who can provide support and encouragement can also make all the difference.
The following are recommendations from the Alzheimer’s Association, that are especially crucial regarding the care for single people with Alzheimer’s:
Everyone should create their plans so that others will know what they want. But if you’re single and have Alzheimer’s, make this a priority. You can move on and no longer have to worry the sooner you take these steps. Make sure all legal documents are up to date, including your future healthcare preferences.
You’ll want to appoint someone to make decisions if you become unable. And make sure to take advantage of the resources and worksheets available on the Alzheimer’s Association website. There is also a free e-learning workshop on legal and financial planning.
As you progress through the different levels of Alzheimer’s, your care needs will also increase. Plan ahead as much as possible and prepare for the time when you may not be as capable to make complicated decisions.
Consider what resources are available in your area if you need additional help to remain in your home. Also, assess your home now for safety and take steps to decrease your risk of falling. This can increase with Alzheimer’s as you may begin having challenges with your depth perception and sensitivity to light.
Research available resources to help manage your own personal hygiene, activities of daily living and household tasks. What services could help you to remain in your current home for as long as possible? Are there local programs available to help with meals, housekeeping, managing your medications and paying your bills?
Take advantage of opportunities to simplify your life now, such as arranging for direct deposits of your retirement funds. Set up automatic bill paying services or ask a trusted family member or friend to assist. Choose a system that can remind you when it’s time to take a medication.
The day will come when you will no longer be able to drive so plan now for how you will get to appointments and social activities. This is something that almost all older adults will face as they try to maintain their independence for as long as possible. Planning ahead helps.
Before it’s needed, research options in your area. Discover if there are other forms of transportation available such as buses, light or commuter rail. Can you use a ride-sharing service when needed or are there family or friends that could provide transportation?
Wandering is a risk for everyone who has been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s. The seriousness of course is in leaving your home and finding that you’re not able to get back. This can occur if you aren’t able to remember how to return, a phone number of someone who could help or if you’ve lost a sense of familiarity.
If you live alone, there is no one at home to be aware that you’ve left so you may want to enroll in a response service to ensure there will be help if needed. These services can connect you with first responders or family members if you become lost.
It is easy for everyone with Alzheimer’s to become socially isolated, as well as their caregivers. After a diagnosis, the individual may feel more comfortable staying at home and might begin avoiding others.
Either out of embarrassment or misplaced fear of what might happen, people often become isolated. This is detrimental to your health. Try to stay connected with your friends and family. If you don’t have anyone nearby, search for programs and services such as 24/7 hotlines, local resources and support programs. The Alzheimer’s Association also offers early-stage social engagement programs.
One of the increased dangers when you live alone is that you may not be as aware of health changes as when you live with someone who may more quickly notice. Understand that you may be at a higher risk of not understanding when you need care and plan ahead for how you can address this challenge.
Care for single people with Alzheimer’s should include researching local health care services available such as visiting nurses, private caregivers or other services that provide in-home support. Understanding available options before you need them will make it easier to avoid a crisis or letting a health concern remain untreated.
Our community can provide the compassionate care you may need as you progress through the illness of Alzheimer’s. If you are single and have Alzheimer’s or don’t have close family or friends in the area, we can bridge the gap.
Our staff is highly trained in dementia care and our community is designed to encourage and support our residents to continue to live as independent of a life as possible.
Not only do we offer a whole-person approach to our residents, our services and amenities also include:
Intimate and secure residential neighborhoods
Spacious apartments with an abundance of sun and natural light
Individual therapy and wellness programs
Licensed nursing staff 24/7 educated in best practices in dementia care
All-day dining with chef inspired meals and stocked kitchens
Social integration with others in the greater community
Family support and education
Call (240) 414-8557 if you have any questions or would like to schedule a personalized tour today.