When an older family member is diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease it can be easy for family caregivers to rush to the conclusion that they shouldn’t be left alone. It’s true that in later stages the older adult will need constant supervision. However, in the early stage of Alzheimer’s disease, there’s no reason a senior cannot continue to live alone. They just need to make some changes to make life more manageable. Some changes that can help people with early stage Alzheimer’s disease to continue living independently for as long as possible are described below.
Encourage your aging relative to write things down. They might carry a small notebook with them to write down important information, such as the name of a new acquaintance or a phone number. Keeping a calendar may also be useful. The older adult can write down appointments, no matter how big or small they are. By looking at the calendar each day, they can be reminded of what is coming up.
Set Up Automated Payments
To help your older family member manage their finances, assist them with setting up automated payments for as many bills as possible. That way, they can be assured that their bills are paid on time every month.
Call your older family member more often than before. By checking in on them and having regular conversations, you will be able to see changes in their symptoms and the progression of the disease. This will allow you to recognize when increased care is necessary. In addition, it will remind the older adult that they have people who care about them and offer the emotional support they need during an uncertain time.
Talk to the Neighbors
If your older family member has a close neighbor that they trust, consider talking to them about the diagnosis. You might leave an extra set of keys to the senior’s house with them in case they lock themselves out. The neighbor may agree to check in on your loved one from time to time or at least watch for them should they wander outside and appear lost.
Use Senior Care
Contacting a senior care agency to set up a professional caregiver to visit the older adult regularly can also help them to remain independent for longer. A senior care provider can check in on your older family member as often as necessary to ensure they have what they need and are doing well. This can be especially helpful to family caregivers who do not live close enough to the senior to visit themselves.