Seniors living with cognitive decline, whether it’s related to dementia or not, may begin to get lost on a fairly regular basis. Getting “lost” may involve having difficulty driving to and from familiar locations or losing track of dates and times. Situations like these can certainly be reasons for family caregivers to worry. However, there are some ways you may be able to assist a senior loved one who’s starting to get lost.
Encourage the Use of GPS
If your loved one is only experiencing minor occurrences of getting lost, encourage him or her to use GPS when driving. Such devices provide gentle verbal directions in a way that still allows your loved one to maintain dignity and independence.
Suggest Senior Transportation Services
Should instances of getting lost while driving become increasingly frequent, it may no longer be safe for your loved one to drive. If this is the case, consider local transportation services for older adults. Such services typically allow seniors to be fairly flexible with pickup and drop-off arrangements.
Transportation is just one of the many types of assistance a home caregiver can provide for your loved one. Senior care experts are available to provide high-quality care to seniors on an as-needed basis. From assistance with mobility and exercise to providing transportation to the doctor’s office and social events, there are a variety of ways professional caregivers can help your aging loved one continue to live independently.
Pre-Program Your Loved One’s Phone
Get some added peace of mind by using technology to your advantage. One way to do this is to pre-program your loved one’s phone to make it easier to simply press or tap a button when he or she is lost and in need of quickly accessible assistance. Include backup numbers for other family members or friends who are likely to be available to help.
Look for Patterns in Cognitive Awareness
Knowing your loved one’s general patterns of cognitive clarity can help you determine when assistance will likely be necessary. For instance, some older adults become less alert later in the day. If this applies to your loved one, encourage doing things like taking a walk or running errands earlier in the day.
Make Lists & Use Calendars
If getting lost involves forgetting things, give your loved one some visual cues to stay on track. You could do this by making a daily list so tasks can be crossed off as completed or creating a wall calendar that lists important appointments and tasks. Sticky notes can be used for this purpose as well.
Talk to Your Loved One’s Doctor
How you assist a loved one who’s starting to get lost will depend on what’s causing his or her cognitive impairment. Encourage your loved one to get evaluated by his or her physician to see what issues may be involved. In some cases, cognitive issues may be manageable or even treatable to some extent.
Many older adults are choosing to age in place, and some need a helping hand to continue living at home safely and comfortably. Luckily, there is professional elderly home care Colorado Springs seniors can trust and rely on.
See if Your Loved One May Benefit from Cognitive Therapies
If a progressive form of dementia isn’t yet an issue, talk to your loved one’s doctor about cognitive therapies. These are techniques and lifestyle adjustments that can sharpen cognitive skills or minimize cognitive decline, which could reduce issues with getting lost. Some seniors can boost their cognitive abilities by:
- Playing board games or using brain-stimulating apps
- Getting regular exercise
- Practicing hobbies that require hand-eye coordination and mental focus
- Eating more fresh fruits and veggies and other brain-friendly foods
Certain age-related conditions can make it more challenging for seniors to age in place safely and comfortably, but Colorado Springs live-in care experts are available around the clock to help seniors manage their health. Whether your loved one is living with dementia or recovering from a stroke, you can trust the professional live-in caregivers from Home Care Assistance to enhance his or her quality of life. Trust Home Care Assistance to provide high-quality compassionate, professional home care for your loved one. Call one of our friendly Care Managers today at (719) 822-1229.