ccnb. offers social support for people living alone at home with memory loss or dementia.
ccnb can provide a regular ‘drop in’ social support service to monitor the well-being of a person living alone with memory loss or dementia. This service supports those who want to stay independent at home and still be engaged with others in their community. Based on what the person would like, we can provide:
- assistance to attend social activities or go shopping
- companionship, a cup of tea and a chat, and
- help with meal preparation and eating adequately
Support staff who visit the home are matched to the needs of the person. They provide feedback to the person and/or their family on changes and how these can best me met.
If you or someone you know could benefit from this service, or you would like more information, please call us on 1300 002 262 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Service providers are also encouraged to contact CCNB if they would like more information.
Caring for someone with memory loss or dementia who lives alone
Each person with dementia is unique and so is the situation in which they find themselves.
While most people live with a partner or in some type of family situation, increasingly many people live alone. This may be by choice, or by circumstance. Whatever the reason, it creates a particular challenge for people who care for someone with dementia who lives on their own.
A diagnosis of dementia does not automatically mean that people are immediately incapable of caring for themselves. Assisting a person to remain in the familiar surroundings of their home for as long as possible is a worthwhile goal. However, it can be very worrying for family and friends.
The type of support needed depends on the individual situation.
What to watch out for
There are a number of things that people living alone with memory loss or dementia may do or forget to do, such as:
- forget to eat or take prescribed medication
- forget to bathe or change their clothes regularly
- lack awareness of potentially hazardous situations such as fire or electrical appliances
- show poor judgement about who they let into the house
- forget to feed or care for pets
- have unrealistic ideas or suspicions which can lead to trouble with neighbours, the police or the community.
Some of these situations may be able to be dealt with fairly simply. For instance, if the person is forgetting to eat, arranging for delivered meals, such as meals-on-wheels and then making a phone call or have a person visit to remind them to eat the meal may help. Some of the
Some of the situations, however, may compromise the person’s safety and well-being, and a move to more supervised care may have to be arranged. That’s where
Monitoring the person and knowing when it is time to move to more supervised care is where ccnb’s social support can be of assistance.
What you can do
- Get the family involved – It may be possible for more family members to be involved in aspects of the care and assistance of someone living alone. It can be useful to organise a family meeting at an early stage to work out what each person can offer, now and in the future as well as when the situation will be reviewed. If there is no family able to assist, then ccnb’s social support can help.
- Make the house safe – ensure that the house is well lit and that there are no obvious hazards such as faulty kitchen appliances, loose carpets or unsteady furniture.
- Assist the person with aids, such as hand rails at bath, shower and toilet, easy to read clocks, large calendars will help to orient to time, reminder timers may also be helpful, particularly for remembering medication and personal alarms or monitoring systems may help.
- Manage their finances – as memory loss progresses, the person’s ability to make financial decisions will decrease. They will need assistance with managing their money. It is essential to get legal and financial advice while the person can still participate in making decisions.
- Tell other people – explain the situation to friends, neighbours, local shopkeepers, police and provide them with contact numbers. They can be very helpful in keeping an eye out.
If you are uncertain about a person’s ability to live alone, then contact us. We are experts in aged care, memory loss and dementia and we can advise on the best course of action. You can also call the National Dementia Hotline on 1800 100 500.