How To Keep My Spouse with Dementia Safe

Author: Maine Veterans' Homes
Posted: October 27, 2016
Category: Dementia and Memory Care

“Roy gets so confused sometimes, and when he does, he starts to panic. I lay awake at night worrying about how to care for him and worrying about his safety when I’m not around. What can I do?”

Safety concerns for a spouse in need of memory care can overshadow nearly all aspects of your daily life. Oftentimes, caregivers suffer a great deal of physical and emotional stress. The care and worrying about your spouse can take a toll on you and your family.

While it may be difficult to even think about moving your spouse into an assisted living or memory care facility, take into consideration the gained safety and security you would be providing your spouse. Also consider your own well-being, as you want to remain healthy so you can be there for your spouse.

How dementia affects a person’s safety

Dementia in its various forms causes changes in the brain that impair judgment, alter key senses like vision, hearing and depth perception and impact behavior. This can lead to becoming easily confused, fear and suspicion. Couple these with the possibilities of losing track of time and place and you have a recipe for a tragic situation.

An assisted living center provides trained professionals on hand 24 hours a day. Staff members are not only trained to keep your spouse safe, but also happy and comfortable. Ask about specific memory care training for the resident care directors to the individual attendants.

Take tours of assisted living centers and memory care units to get a sense of the culture of the community. You need to be comfortable knowing that it isn’t a lockup, it’s a community where adults with similar needs, interests and backgrounds can pursue the highest possible quality of life.

How dementia care improves a person’s safety

In order for a person to feel truly safe and secure, memory care must extend beyond the room layout and secured grounds. A truly secure person is happy and comfortable. He should be living in an atmosphere where he can settle into a routine that feels safe to him. He should have around-the-clock support he trusts and can rely on to help him cope with any challenges.

In the right memory care arrangement, he can make new friends and gain camaraderie. He can participate in activities that may be difficult to provide from home.

How stimulating the mind improves safety

Specialized therapies and activities that stimulate the mind and senses can reduce anxieties and confusion. Check out the schedule of activities at an assisted living center to see what community activities, such as music, art or outside trips, are offered. Also ask about therapies and activities specifically for those in need of memory care.

By keeping the mind and senses stimulated, you can reduce the chances of anxiety, confusion and an unsafe situation for your spouse.

When it comes to adults with memory care needs, dementia or Alzheimer’s disease, making the decision to move to an assisted living center is never easy but ultimately may be the right decision for your spouse, you and your family.

As you’re evaluating your options, don’t overlook the commitment of a center’s staff to your entire family as well as your spouse. The top extended care centers are true advocates for residents and their families.

Maine Veterans’ Homes has six locations throughout Maine, each welcoming our honored veterans. We would love to answer your questions or give you a tour. Contact Maine Veterans’ Homes online or give us a call at 800-278-9494.