How to make a home safer for people living with Alzheimer’s diseaseBy Home Security Source Nov 12 , 2009 | 9:40:00 amPosted in: Home, Personal Safety, Senior Safety
According to recent estimates, as many as 4.5 million Americans are currently living with Alzheimer’s disease. Alzheimer’s disease is the most common cause of dementia among older people.
When you live with or care for a person with Alzheimer’s disease or related dementia, creating a safe home can be a complicated task. Vision, hearing, memory and mobility limitations create added safety challenges for aging adults and special care should be taken in order to ensure home safety and security for those living with dementia and for the rest of the family.
Here are a few important home security and safety solutions to help people with Alzheimer’s disease or dementia live safely in their homes:
- Always have working smoke and carbon monoxide detectors and keep a fire extinguisher on hand in a known location. People with Alzheimer’s disease may leave a stove on or unattended or may attempt to microwave items that could be flammable.
- Remove locks on bedroom and bathroom doors so older adults do not accidentally become locked inside.
- Use deadbolt locks on exterior doors and make sure existing locks are in good working order. If you live with someone who has a tendency to wander, good locks can be an effective deterrent – but they should be placed high or low on doors so they are out of direct sight.
- Keep medications in locked areas at all times. You may also want to remove things like seasonings and sugar from kitchen tables and counter tops because Alzheimer sufferers may eat things that they shouldn’t.
- Install grab bars in bathroom showers and bath tubs. A walk-in shower may be a safer option.
- Changes in vision may make it hard for people with Alzheimer’s disease to navigate around throw rugs. Removing throw rugs is a good idea if you live with a person who has trouble walking, or uses a walker.
- If your family member is unable to use a telephone, a personal emergency response system may be the best option to help keep them safe when you are away from home. If your family member has a medical emergency a single button on these wristbands or pendants will connect them directly with specially trained professionals who will call for help. Systems like ADT’s Companion Service can also send alerts about unsafe room temperatures and the presence of CO gas in the home.
Caring for older adults living with Alzheimer’s disease is a major challenge. Home safety should be a top priority. By following these safety tips, you can help keep your loved one live safely at home as long as possible.
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