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Caregiver Tip: How to Dementia Proof your Home

Tue, Feb 21, 2017 at 12:55AM

 Safety is a serious priority for caregivers taking care of seniors in assisted-living, nursing homes, or at home. But did you know that seniors with Alzheimer’s Disease and dementia related disorders can turn everyday household items into safety hazards? Take the case of a caregiver who caught her husband with Alzheimer’s pulling a straight razor from the bathroom drawer instead of his toothbrush. She prevented the accident, but it was scary none the less. As a senior caregiver you can’t be there every minute of the day, and accidents happen. Alzheimer’s clouds a senior’s judgement, and everyday objects can become confusing, even hazardous.

Prevention is the key to a safe home environment, but starting all at once can be overwhelming. Start with priority rooms like the kitchen and bedroom and then take it one room at a time. Look at the senior’s behavior to assess other priorities such as door locks and gates. Here are some tips to keep you a step ahead.

  • Declutter- It is important to clear paths to ensure the senior can move from room to room without tripping. Arrange furniture to create open pathways increased mobility.
  • Nightlights- Automatic nightlights are essential near bedrooms, hallways, and bathrooms.
  • Lock away hazardous items- Cleaning supplies, sharp objects, lawn equipment, grills, alcohol, electronics, medicine, and chemicals.
  • Turn down temperature on the water heater- Seniors may not have the reaction time to remove themselves from scalding water.
  • Remove items that resemble food- vitamins, decorative items like wax fruit, and poisonous plants are easy for seniors to mistake for real food.
  • Install grab bars- Grab bars in bathrooms aid in independence near the toilet and shower.
  • Remove tripping hazards- Rugs and loose cords are especially dangerous for seniors.
  • Cover electrical outlets
  • Mark large windows or sliding doors- Use window clings or stickers at eye level to ensure glass door and windows are visible when closed.
  • Safety proof kitchen appliances- The garbage disposal and stove are common kitchen dangers.
  • Restrict assess- Install locks or gates to keep seniors from entering possibly dangerous areas such as outside, stairwells, and garage.

Caregivers- For more ways to dementia proof your home, Nurse’s Unlimited has an extensive, room by room safety checklist and other helpful tips to keep your loved one safe. http://www.nursesunlimited.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/06/Alzheimers-Safety-Checklist.pdf


Stayed tuned to the County Health Care Guide Blog to learn more about assisted-living, senior care, senior placement, and important senior news in Volusia County. From Daytona to Port Orange to New Smyrna, the County Health Care Guide is the only resource you need.

Caregiver Tip: How to Dementia Proof your Home

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