If you are caring for an ageing loved one who has Alzheimer’s disease, you understand that with this disease, many individuals lose their ability to problem-solve and make good choices. The loss of these abilities increases their risk of getting injured or creating a large problem at home. Little problems can quickly become large problems and frustration. They may also make choices that will bring harm to themselves or others so finding solutions to keeping the home safe for them and those who live with them is important. Here are some steps to take, especially considering Alzheimer’s care, to help keep your loved one safe at home.
Have Plenty of Help
If your loved one has advanced Alzheimer’s, trying to do it all yourself sets you up for failure and may even put your loved one in danger. Having a professional Alzheimer’s care provider come to the home to help may be the answer. An Alzheimer’s care provider can help you with daily chores, look at ways to make the home more safe, and be an added resource for you. Finding a trusted Alzheimer’s care provider can be just what you need.
Reduce the Risk of Falls
Many people with Alzheimer’s disease become less aware of their environment. They may not see things on the floor that are tripping hazards like bunched-up rugs or electrical cords. Make sure the floors are clear at all times. You might also need to install railings on the stairs and grab bars in the bathroom to help them from slipping and falling as navigating those areas.
Take Fire Safety Steps
Your loved one should not be operating the stove or range top. Having an Alzheimer’s care provider help prepare meals may be one way to help your loved one get the meals she needs without putting her in danger. You might even consider putting safety locks on the stove if your loved one seems to want to use it.
If your loved one smokes, have her only smoke in the presence of a caregiver or Alzheimer’s care provider so that the cigarette can be safely extinguished when she’s done.
Protect Against Scalding
Another concern is protecting your loved one from scalding herself when taking a bath or washing her hands. Set the thermostat on the hot water heater to a lower setting to avoid this possible injury.
Lock Up Dangerous Items
While this applies to guns, it might also apply to the kitchen drawer that has knives, the medicine cabinet in the bathroom, and even areas under the sink that stores your cleaning supplies. Even if your loved one has never attempted to get into these areas, you never know when she might so having locks now could prevent a future fatal accident.
An accident can happen in a heartbeat so even if your loved one is constantly monitored, it can help keep her and you safe by having safety measures already set up before any actions have been taken.