Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Improving Safety for Seniors with Dementia

Dealing with dementia or Alzheimer’s can be challenging both for caregivers and those living with the condition. As loved ones become more confused and disoriented or have trouble keeping their balance and making good choices, their safety becomes a greater concern. Families want to ensure they maintain as much independence as possible while also reducing risk of danger. Here are a few ways to keep your senior safer:

  • Lock up medications and supplements so that they cannot be accidentally consumed. The same goes for any toxic substances such as cleaning products. Keep these items out of sight and out of reach unless someone is there to supervise.
  • Use appliances with auto shut offs so that they cannot be left on unintentionally. If the stove or oven are a concern, remove the knobs when they are not being used or install a shut off breaker to cut power or gas and prevent your senior from turning them on.
  • Lower water temperature to prevent burns. It can be difficult for those with dementia to differentiate between temperatures, so limit how hot the water can get.
  • Install door locks or alarms if wandering is an issue. Not every senior with dementia wanders, but according to the Alzheimer’s Association, 6 out of 10 do. Place locks out of sight and out of reach. Have a bell or alarm to notify you when doors are opened and closed so you can be more aware of when someone enters or exits.
  • Get an alert bracelet with your loved one’s name, address, and phone number that also notes they have dementia or Alzheimer’s. Should they wander, this can make it easier for someone to get in touch when they are found. You could also consider using a GPS system, such as tracking their phone or another safety device.
  • Maintain a routine so that the person knows what to expect and stays occupied. This can reduce agitation and risk of wandering. It also helps to keep them familiarized with their surroundings and what to do.
  • Reduce clutter in the home to prevent tripping and make navigating easier. Installing grab bars, anti-slip surfaces, and improved lighting can help as well. Consider things from their point of view and look for any situations that may be potentially hazardous.
  • Arrange for in-home care to provide your loved one with assistance tailored to their needs. A caregiver can help them with meal preparation and household tasks as well as taking them out into the community to run errands, attend events, or meet with friends. This can improve safety and reduce risk of wandering.

Dementia or Alzheimer’s does not have to mean that your loved one must give up doing things they enjoy. Always Best Care of Asheville-Hendersonville provides high quality dementia care services that can support your loved one in maintaining their independence as much as possible while staying safe. Contact Always Best Care at (828) 989-7263 to schedule a free consultation.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for this wonderful post!! You guys are really doing a great job and taking care of people suffering from dementia. Elderly home care like yours becomes a necessity which enables a family caregiver to spare more time on priorities rather than routine tasks which can be done by a home care specialist trained for that specific job.