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Like many Australians, you might currently live alone. A dementia diagnosis doesn’t automatically mean you need to move.

Dementia can make some parts of everyday life harder. You might experience:

  • memory loss
  • trouble with reasoning or thinking
  • trouble with daily tasks, like eating, taking your medication, bathing or getting dressed
  • changes in your behaviour or emotions
  • perception and understanding of your home
  • awareness of potentially dangerous situations, like a fire
  • judgement about who you let into your home.

Some people with dementia live independently for quite a while. But if you want to keep living alone, you might need to make some changes and get some support.

Here are some things you can do to stay independent and live alone with dementia.

Support your wellbeing

  • Make regular appointments with your doctors to keep track of your health.
  • Eat a well-balanced diet, including lots of fresh fruit and vegetables
  • Drink plenty of water.
  • Stay mobile and active.
  • Learn new things, like a new sport, dancing, yoga, art, music, writing or crafts.
  • Stay connected with your friends, family and community.

Make your home dementia-friendly

A comfortable, accessible and safe home can help you stay independent for longer.

There are lots of changes you can make to your home to help you live well, carry out your daily tasks and feel safe and secure. We’ve provided more information and advice on our Dementia-Friendly Home page.

Use tools and aids

Technology and supportive aids can give you confidence and help you adapt to changes caused by dementia. For example, they can remind you to take medication, help you know the time, or call for help in an emergency.

You can find more information on our page Tools and aids to help at home.

Get help from family and friends

Your family and friends can support you to stay at home. Have a family meeting to work out how each person can help.

Let your neighbours, local business owners and police know that you live with dementia. You can also give them contact details in case of an emergency.

Apply for government support

Funded support can help you to keep doing the things you love and keep living independently at home.

Support can include:

  • companionship
  • help with personal care
  • household tasks and home maintenance
  • home modifications
  • transport
  • help to take part in social activities and hobbies
  • clinical and allied health care.

We’ve provided more information on our Home Care page.

Manage your finances and decision-making

As your dementia progresses, it will become harder for you to manage your finances or make decisions. By planning ahead, you can make sure you’re supported.

This includes:

  • getting financial and legal advice early, while you can still take part in decision-making
  • choosing people you trust to help you make financial, medical and care decisions
  • making a power of attorney, a will and an advance care plan
  • talking to your family about your wishes.

If you change your mind, you can always adjust your plans.

Our Deciding who can speak for you and Expressing your wishes pages have more information.

Moving out

At some stage, you might find it’s not safe for you to live by yourself anymore. This is tough to think about, but if you’re in this situation, you may need to consider other living options. You can learn about your options in our Care options section.

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Last updated
4 January 2024