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Though it can be emotionally difficult, it is important to assess whether your aging parent has reached a point where they are not safe to be home alone.  A Geriatric Care Manager can make this process easier for you and may provide a variety of solutions to keep your loved one independent for as long as possible. If you feel your loved one is no longer safe alone, take action immediately, and call an Elder Law Attorney and/or certified Geriatric Care Manager.  Use these professionals as a network of experts in order to obtain the best care possible for your loved one.

Some questions to guide your discussion:

Quiz- Can My Loved One Stay at Home Alone?

True or False

  • My loved one is able to safely prepare nutritious meals.
  • My loved one eats and drinks well without supervision.
  • My loved one is steady on his or her feet.
  • My loved one is able to get in and out of the shower or tub safely.
  • My loved one keeps himself or herself clean.
  • My loved one can get dressed without assistance.
  • My loved one can get to the bathroom as necessary.
  • My loved one has interests and friends to keep life interesting.
  • My loved one is cautious with the stove, candles, irons, and other sources of heat.
  • My loved one is not likely to fall asleep while smoking.
  • My loved one does not have to navigate stairs, or if he or she does, it can be done safely.
  • My loved one can call someone if the need arises who can be there within a short time.
  • My loved one has access to transportation to the grocery store, pharmacy, doctor and dentist appointments, and social occasions.
  • I feel at ease during the day and sleep well at night knowing that my loved one is home alone.

As you answer each question, consider their impact on the overall health and wellbeing of your loved one. The more questions answered “False” indicates a higher probability that your loved one needs extra care and supervision. For some, an Adult Day Care Program will be sufficient, but others may need professional care provided by an Assisted Living Facility or Nursing Home.  If you have concerns, reach out to an Elder Care professional. You do not need to go through this alone!

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