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Signs of Dementia

When caring for a person with dementia questions arise about the safety of keeping the person at home. Since dementia is usually a progressive condition with many twists and turns, safety is sometimes difficult to assess. A person may seem to function well on one day and be confused and at risk on another. The Alzheimer's Association has issued some helpful guidelines to use when trying to determine the safety of caring for someone at home. The issue requires careful consideration. Think about the person you're caring for and ask yourself if these apply:

  • Becomes confused or unpredictable under stress?
  • Fails to recognize a dangerous situation, such as fire?
  • Doesn't recall how to use the telephone in an emergency? doesn't know how to get help?
  • Isn't content to stay within the home? wanders and become disoriented? shows signs of agitation, depression, or withdrawal when left alone for any period of time?
  • Attempts to pursue former interests or hobbies that might now warrant supervision, such as using power tools to make repairs, cooking, or woodworking?

If you answered yes to any of these items, precautions should be put in place when leaving your loved one at home.

As the dementia progresses, these questions will need ongoing evaluation.