As a caregiver faced
with caring for a person with Alzheimer’s, we are
concerned for our loved one’s safety above all else.
The following tips will help you outfit your home
or your loved one’s home for better safety. Following that are some tips for parents to talk to their
children about Alzheimer’s.
Both sections should help families cope better.
While a safe home
environment is essential, it should also support the
needs of the individual by promoting independence,
positive social interaction and meaningful activities.
Here are some additional ways to create a safe
atmosphere, without making the home too restrictive for
the person with Alzheimer's:
your home water heater below 120 degrees, since the
individual may no
longer be sensitive to extreme temperatures.
Prepare a list of
emergency phone numbers including local police and fire
departments, as well as the nearest hospital and poison
control center. Conduct fire drills regularly and check
fire alarms and extinguishers monthly.
"Kiddy Gates" should
not be used to prevent wandering because they are
generally not strong enough to keep an individual from
climbing over them or kicking them down.
Mirrors and glass
surfaces can cause confusion and delusions for a person
with Alzheimer's. If they frighten the affected
individual, take them down or cover them up.
appliances, such as hair dryers, curling irons and
electric razors, from the bathroom.
Provide a "safe
place" where the person can roam or move freely without
risk of injury. Even in barrier-free areas, caregivers
should pay close attention to what the affected person
is doing, particularly as the disease progresses and the
likelihood of needing assistance increases.
Helping Kids Cope:
Tips for Parents
Talk to your
children about Alzheimer's disease. Discuss changes in
the affected person's behavior as they occur.
people to ask questions. Help them understand what's
going on and provide age-appropriate information and
Remind kids that the
behavior of the affected person is a reflection of the
disease. Help them understand that the person may not
always mean what they say, or intend to act the way they
Educate and involve
their friends. Ask your children if they've discussed
Alzheimer's disease with close friends or classmates.
Talk about ways to make their friends feel welcome and
comfortable in your home.
Let them help. Find
activities that the young person can help with. Be
careful not to overwhelm them with too many caregiving
Set aside time for
the kids. Find some time each day to give your children
some individualized attention, reassurance and emotional
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