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Living Alone with Dementia

Mother and daughter looking and smartphone

Living alone with dementia in the early to mid-stages is common. For many people their memory is not affected until their condition progresses and their independence may be especially important to them. For people who have lived alone for many years, they tend to be familiar with managing on their own and have a good support network already in place.

If you are living alone there are things you can think about to ensure your safety and wellness:

  • Stay active and involved in your community
  • Talk to your family, friends or neighbours about your situation
  • Ensure you have a support network in place to prevent social isolation

Simplify daily tasks:

  • Set up automated bill payments and talk to your bank about options that might help you
  • Keep your appointments and engagements stored in one place
  • Have family, friends or neighbours contact details set up in your phone
  • If you need to go out, use familiar routes and think about letting a family member or friend know your whereabouts or asking if they might accompany you
  • Always carry an identification card with you
  • Explore technology options to help with everyday tasks (e.g., tablet, smartphone, smart speakers)

Look around your home for any potential safety hazards:

  • Are emergency numbers accessible?
  • Are your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors working?
  • Try to reduce clutter and any trip hazards such as rugs, foot stools, shoes, pet toys or dishes
  • Ensure good lighting throughout your home
  • Install grab rails in bathrooms
  • Use shut off devices where appropriate
  • Review options for emergency pendants
  • Consider contacting an occupational therapist to do a home assessment

Keep in touch with your local community services:

  • Work with your pharmacist to arrange your medications
  • Are any local services to assist with housecleaning, gardening, snow removal?
  • Familiarize yourself with grocery delivery services or meal plans
  • Familiarize yourself with options for in-home care
  • Familiarize yourself with alternative housing options for the future if you can no longer live alone
  • Familiarize yourself with all public transportation options
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