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:
Consider setting 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.
Remove electrical 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.