If you have a loved one with Alzheimer’s Disease or other forms of dementia, keeping them safe is a top priority. While putting them in a care home is a possibility, this is often disruptive and traumatic – it can even make their dementia worse by taking them away from their home and all the memories it holds.
Many families choose to care for loved ones with Alzheimer’s and dementia care in comfort of their own home – possibly with the help of a live-in caregiver. This can be beneficial, but it requires a lot of work to ensure their home is as safe as possible.
What areas should you focus on? These are some of the most important.
Four Ways To Make A Home Safe When Providing Alzheimer’s & Dementia Care
1 – Move them downstairs
As dementia and mobility issues increase, stairs become unacceptably dangerous. If your loved one has their bedroom on an upper floor, it should be moved downstairs so they have easy access without having to traverse any stairs.
2 – “Childproof” the home
Fundamentally, the same strategies you’d use to child-proof a home are effective for keeping a dementia patient safe as well. Put plastic covers on outlets. Secure cabinets with locks or barriers. Put anything with a blade behind a lock, or otherwise out of reach. Remove any tripping hazards, such as throw rugs. Disconnect the garbage disposal. Consider removing fire-based cooking appliances and replacing them with electric alternatives, such as induction stoves rather than burners.
Also, if they are no longer capable of driving, be sure to take away the car keys.
3 – Add features to prevent falls
In general, there’s really no such thing as “too many railings” when protecting someone with Alzheimer’s or dementia. There should be railings in the hallways, near doors, and especially in the bathroom. Consider installing carpet in the bathroom, even if it’s harder to clean, to prevent slipping. If there are stairs, make sure the railings are extremely secure.
4 – Add extra protection to the doors
Sadly, wandering is a major problem for those with dementia – keeping them inside is very important. Add locks to the exterior doors that they don’t have a key for. Also, install alarms, so that you’ll know if the doors are ever opened when they shouldn’t be.
Alzheimer’s And Dementia Care
A Homemade Plan offers superior live-in care for Maryland seniors, as well as other caregiving services. Contact us to discuss you and your loved ones’ situation.