Did you know that 1 out of every 7 patients with Alzheimer’s disease lives alone? While this isn’t a major concern on the surface, it highlights the importance that we should place on Alzheimer’s care.
“An Alzheimer’s diagnosis isn’t enough to keep some older adults from staying in their homes –even if they live alone. According to a new study from the Alzheimer’s Association, one in seven Americans with Alzheimer’s –some 800,000 people- live alone. For some, there’s simply no where [sic] else to go, or no one else to turn to.” –The Takeaway: 1 in 7 U.S. Alzheimer’s Patients Lives Alone, by Elizabeth Nolan Brown, published by AARP Blog, May 7, 2012.
When it comes to Alzheimer’s care, one thing that we should keep in mind is that many of these individuals who choose to live alone with the disease do so of their own accord. They believe that they can do well for themselves, at least for a long period of time. And in many cases, they can do just that.
However, there are also many seniors who live alone because their either don’t have any other options, anyone to rely on, or don’t believe that they deserve help. Some are living alone because they can’t afford the proper level of care, or they don’t know about certain programs that could assist them with this type of care.
When it comes to Alzheimer’s disease, though, is that the patient doesn’t always know when he or she should rely on care from someone else. Just because the patient thinks that he or she can manage his or her own care well enough at the moment, that doesn’t mean that they should be doing so.
It becomes a matter of safety, so what happens to those individuals with this disease who are living alone and don’t have someone looking out for them, who might be able to notice that they are becoming a danger to themselves or others? Alzheimer’s will affect memory, problem solving abilities, and can potentially lead to dangerous situations.
If you know someone who has Alzheimer’s disease, whether it’s a family member or neighbor, it’s a good idea to make sure that there is someone looking out for their best interest. Alzheimer’s care shouldn’t be reserved only for those individuals who have strong family ties or financial support. Alzheimer’s care should always come first.
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