Understand the Complexities of Dementia Patients Living Alone

by  Adv. Umapathi Natarajan  




4 mins


should dementia patients be left alone

Although dementia advances differently in each person affected, it typically worsens and progresses through phases. As a result, it’s a good idea to be aware of the warning signals so you can assess that should dementia patients live alone or not. 

When should dementia patients live alone?

That’s a question that almost everyone with dementia, as well as their relatives and caregivers, has is that should dementia patients live alone. For some people, it might be a difficult, even a painful decision.

We’ll answer that issue inside each step because this essay is about should dementia patients live alone or not.

Stage 1 – Mild Cognitive Impairment

We’ve all seen and maybe been through anything resembling this period. This is when you lose track of items (glasses, keys, etc.) and have problems recalling the name of a movie or a person. Dementia patients can live alone at this stage. 

  • Most of us have experienced and/or seen the onset of stage 1 in our elderly parents and senior loved ones.
  • The likelihood of forgetting and misplacing things rises as dementia develops.

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Should dementia patients live alone at 1st stage?

  • Especially in the early stages of dementia, the answer to the question of that should dementia patients live alone or not is most likely yes. 
  • I would, however, encourage that you speak with your doctor to ensure that there are no additional issues in your situation.
  • Before dementia worsens, family members and caregivers should start getting their legal documentation in order. 
  • A general power of Attorney, a Durable Medical general power of Attorney, an Updated Will, and many other documents are available.

Stage 2 – Mild Dementia

  • This is when you start to notice more indicators of forgetfulness, as well as challenges with problem-solving and maybe some moderate personality and behavioral changes. Some people have difficulty expressing their ideas and feelings.
  • This is the point at which family members and dementia caregivers must start questioning their loved one’s logic and decision-making abilities. A clock test is a fast approach to checking for dementia at home, but the SLUMS test is more definite and done in a clinic.
  • It will be difficult for dementia patients to live alone at this stage. 

Should dementia patients live alone during the 2nd stage?

The answer to the question that should dementia patients live alone or not is that the person will very certainly require some part-time (or full-time) supervision.

  • This means that the person with dementia may be able to do activities of daily living such as dressing, bathing, toileting, eating, and other functions at this stage.
  • However, they may experience difficulties managing their finances, traveling to the grocery shop, and cleaning their house as thoroughly as they formerly did.
  • Seniors with dementia are susceptible to fraud at this point, particularly internet scams.
  • In addition to the home safety adjustments I suggested above for stage 1, I would consider adding at least one daily check-in. Alternatively, have a family member move in with you.

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Stage 3 – Moderate Dementia

As dementia advances into stage 3, you’ll likely notice greater memory issues and poor decision-making. This is the point at which you start to notice issues with day-to-day tasks.

  • Simple actions such as toileting, showering, brushing their teeth, and so on may be difficult for them.
  • As they lose more and more decision-making and control, they may become belligerent and unpleasant.
  • It may be difficult for family members and caregivers to communicate with their loved ones at this time, but we can provide some advice on how to communicate with someone who has dementia. Avoid asking open-ended inquiries, is one short suggestion I can give you.
  • It is almost next to impossible for dementia patients to live alone at this stage. 

I would propose installing wandering prevention devices in addition to the home improvements and daily check-ins indicated above to safeguard your senior loved ones if they stray out of the house.

Should dementia patients live alone during the 3rd stage?

The answer to the question should dementia patients live alone is no. 

  • At this point, I would advocate having someone come in to help for at least part of the day, and you may need to have someone there all of the time. It’s critical that the dementia sufferer engages in some form of physical activity every day, which necessitates the presence of someone who can do so.
  • They can assist with bathing, dressing, cooking, and other activities. Assist in making sure meds are taken on schedule and that the dementia sufferer is eating correctly.
  • This is the time for family members/caretakers to take over (if they haven’t previously) the person with dementia’s financial affairs and home repair difficulties.

Stage 4 – Severe Dementia

  • In stage 4 dementia, in addition to the symptoms listed above, there is additional cognitive and physical impairment.
  • This can cause difficulty communicating as well as bodily mobility issues such as walking, sitting up, swallowing, bowel and bladder control, and so on.
  • Your senior loved one may be bedridden or confined to a wheelchair. It is impossible for dementia patients to live alone at this stage. 

Should dementia patients live alone at the 4th stage?

The answer to the question of that should dementia patients live alone or not is emphatical no.

  • Someone at this stage requires round-the-clock care and is in danger of becoming injured. If at-home care is not practicable, a nursing home placement is advised. Especially if medical treatment and monitoring are required.
  • Individuals with stage 4 dementia are not suitable for assisted living and will frequently require medical attention, as well as monitoring and hands-on assistance with clothing, bathing, eating, and toileting.

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The question that comes to our mind is should dementia patients live alone, the answer is that as someone who has cared for individuals with dementia, I feel that someone with dementia should not be left alone regardless of where they are in the process.

It’s fairly common, so just remember that if you observe any of the symptoms listed above, you should schedule an appointment with your doctor right away.

Therefore, the answer to the question is should dementia patients live alone or not will depend upon the stage he is at. 

If you know someone who is a dementia patient and is worried about how to manage their properties? Talk to a lawyer and seek consultation

Adv. Umapathi Natarajan

Adv. Umapathi Natarajan


4.9 | 151+ User Reviews

With 24 years of independent practice, Advocate Umapathi Natarajan has gained extensive experience in handling legal cases while providing legal consultancy and advisory services with a focus on achieving results in an ethical and professional manner. Advocate Umapathi Natarajan, who can speak English, Tamil, and Telugu, possesses excellent communication skills that enable him to articulate arguments persuasively in both written and verbal forms.

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