Alzheimer’s Home Safety Tips
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Home is a place of familiarity and comfort in so many ways. For a family member with memory loss, remaining at home is often preferable to living in a care facility. In fact, 50 per cent of people living with dementia in Canada are still living in their own homes, according to ourhealthyminds.com. Remaining at home is possible with proper care support if measures are taken to make the home a safe place for your loved one with Alzheimer’s.
Safety at home begins with adapting the environment to support the changing abilities of the person with Alzheimer’s. Be sure to re-evaluate home safety measures regularly as the disease progresses.
A person with dementia may be at risk in certain areas of the home or outdoors. Pay special attention to garages, work rooms, basements and outside areas. Inside the home, there are simple things you can do to modify your kitchen, living room, bathrooms and bedrooms to make them safer for the person with Alzheimer’s.
- Invest in installed, working fire extinguishers and smoke detectors.
- Lock or disguise hazardous areas using child-proof locks and doorknob covers.
- Limit access to places with knives, appliances and poisonous chemicals.
- Install grab bars in the bathroom to allow for independent, safe movement.
- Add textured stickers to slippery surfaces, remove throw rugs, minimize clutter and limit access to stairs to reduce risk of falls.
Enroll the person with dementia in an emergency response service designed specifically for individuals with Alzheimer’s or a related dementia who wander or may have a medical emergency. Should the individual become lost, an emergency response network will work to notify the necessary parties to help the individual return home safely. You may also want to consider a web-based GPS location management service or other locating devices to remotely monitor the person with Alzheimer’s. Check with the Alzheimer Society of Canada for more information about these services.
If you enlist the help of caregiving professionals to provide care for your loved one with Alzheimer’s or dementia, they’ll be able to point out additional suggestions to make your home a safe environment. Companies such as Home Instead Senior Care typically provide a home safety evaluation as part of their initial in-home assessment to offer recommendations specific to your living space and the needs of the person with Alzheimer’s or dementia.
Call your local Home Instead Senior Care office to find out how they can help ensure your loved one with Alzheimer’s or other dementias remains safe and independent at home.