20 Valuable Tips on Keeping Alzheimer’s and Dementia Patients Safe

If you are helping to look after a loved one who is struggling with Alzheimer’s or dementia, there are a number of responsibilities that you will need to take on as their care provider. Whether they are living in your home, their own home or even and assisted-living community, when it comes to looking after someone with this disease, safety is always of the utmost concern.  Individuals with dementia and memory loss are much more likely to fall, get lost or hurt themselves than other seniors their age, so in order to prevent serious injuries from happening, here are 20 practical tips you can utilize to keep your loved one safe.

  1. Install shower chairs and grab bars in the bathroom and make sure that there are plenty of non-skid mats in the shower and on the bathroom floor.
  2. Use childproof latches on drawers and cabinets to limit your loved one’s access to potentially dangerous electronics or sharp items like knives.
  3. Put child-proof locks on any medications and make sure that you or a caregiver is the only one administering medication to your loved one.
  4. Remove door locks from bathroom doors to prevent your loved one from accidentally locking themselves inside.
  5. Set the thermostat on your hot water heater below 120 F, it will prevent your loved one from accidentally burning themselves in the shower or while washing their hands.
  6. Install safety nobs on the stove.
  7. Disconnect the garbage disposal to prevent accidents.
  8. Take away any artificial fruit or food-shaped magnets from the home—they can be confusing.
  9. Make sure to lock away cleaning products and alcohol to avoid accidental consumption.
  10. Keep scissors in a locked drawer.
  11. Put alarms on the doors and windows when your loved one sleeps in case they wander.
  12. Install night lights throughout the home so that your loved one can see should they wander in the middle of the night.
  13. Put a baby monitor in your loved one’s room if they are staying in your home, so you can hear them if they need help.
  14. Avoid clutter in the home and make sure your loved one has a clear path throughout the residence so they don’t fall.
  15. Put a decal or sticker on all glass windows and doors so your loved one isn’t confused.
  16. Lock all vehicles at all times and make sure to hide the keys for any automobile.
  17. Keep the stairs safe, they can be confusing. Cover them in non-skid strips, mark them with bright tape and make sure there are always handrails available for your loved ones.
  18. Always make sure smoke alarms are working in your loved one’s home. If they have a hearing problem, invest in a smoke alarm with a bright flashing light.
  19. Mark the cabinets in the home where your loved one has access to things like cups and water, to prevent confusion.
  20. Cover all unused electrical outlets with childproof plugs.

While some of these tips may seem unnecessary, it is important to remember that those with dementia can change daily. While your loved one may not wander today, tomorrow they could start, so the more precautions you take, the better for everyone involved.

How to Make a Home Safe for Seniors
Home Safety and Alzheimer’s

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