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Day-to-Day Living With Alzheimer's Disease

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What About Driving?

At some point, it may no longer be safe for you to drive. Until that happens, try to drive only in areas that you know well so you won’t get lost. If you’re not sure if you should get behind the wheel, ask the Department of Motor Vehicles about testing your driving skills.

Just because you no longer drive doesn’t mean you won’t be able to get where you need to go. Try other ways to get around:

  • Have someone give you a ride.
  • If you tend to get lost or confused easily, take taxis or public transportation.

Contact organizations like the Alzheimer's Association to learn what local transportation services are available.

How Do I Take Care of Myself at Home?

To make sure you’re safe and have what you need at home, put some of these measures in place early so they become routine:

  • Look into getting help with things like shopping, housekeeping, meals (including home-delivered ones), and transportation. Your doctor or a local Alzheimer’s organization can recommend some services.
  • Ask a neighbor you trust to keep a set of your house keys.
  • Ask a friend or family member to help you organize your closets and drawers to make it easier to find things.
  • Keep a list of important and emergency numbers by the phone.
  • Have family, friends, or a community service program call or visit daily to make sure everything is OK.
  • Ask someone to check your smoke alarm regularly.

How Do I Manage My Money?

  • Arrange for direct deposit of checks, such as your retirement pension or Social Security benefits.
  • Let your bank know if you have a hard time keeping track of your accounts and record keeping. They may provide special services for people who have Alzheimer's.

It’s important to realize that at some point, it will be too hard or dangerous for you to live by yourself. But in the earliest stages of Alzheimer’s, many people do manage on their own with support and help from friends, family, and community programs. Simple changes and safety practices can make a big difference.

WebMD Medical Reference

Reviewed by Melinda Ratini, DO, MS on March 07, 2014
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