With the right safety measures in place, individuals with Alzheimer’s can continue to live in the comfort of their own homes for as long as possible. . But, what are these safety measures, and how effective can they be at reducing the risk of accidents and injuries?
When caring for a person with Alzheimer’s it is essential to set them up for success with a safe home environment. . Some of the best ways of ensuring home safety include; adding safety products in the kitchen, bathroom, bedroom, and other areas of the home, making sure the indoor and outdoor environment is free of potential hazards, and that the home is always well-lit.
However, that is just the basics. There is a lot more that can be done to ensure your loved one’s continued safety and security when living in their own home.
In this article, we will explore creative and flexible ways you can create an Alzheimer friendly house to help ensure your loved one’s environment is as safe and comfortable as possible.
6 Ways To create and Alzheimer friendly home
Alzheimer's is a disease that causes cognitive impairment.. This disease is more common in older adults and can cause memory loss, increased anxiety, mood swings, personality changes, and poor judgment.
As the disease worsens, so do the symptoms, and hence, as a caregiver, you must adapt accordingly. To help you do that, here are 6 ways you can stage different areas of the house for added safety and comfort.
Entrances & Exits
Remove any unwanted furniture or clutter that is lying in hallways or around entrances and exits.
Always ensure there is plenty of lighting around all entryways and exits to the house. Installing motion sensor lighting that automatically turns on when movement is detected is a great way to ensure adequate lighting without wasting energy.
Other things you can do is hang “No Soliciting” signs on the front and back doors, make sure that all the door and window locks are secure and in good working condition, and that any stairs or ramps leading in and out of the house are in good shape.
Make sure that any cabinets or drawers with dangerous products in them such as knives, matches, poisonous cleaners, etc. are locked for safety. The same applies to medication.
Install a stove sensor or a safety knob to prevent kitchen fires from ever occurring. Also, ensure that all electrical appliances are disconnected when not in use.
Make sure that there is always a nightlight or lamp switched on in the bedroom at night.
Consider placing non-slip mats at the sides of the bed so that in case they wake up at night they have sound footing and adequate light to find their way to the bathroom or kitchen.
Installing a bed sensor is an even better idea if the patient is prone to sleepwalking or regularly waking up at night for trips to the bathroom.
A bed sensor alarm will send an alert as soon as it detects that a person has gotten out of bed and will send another alert if they haven’t returned to bed within a preset time.
Extra care should be taken when it comes to keeping bathrooms clean and clutter-free.
- Install grab bars to make it easy to get in and out of the bathtub, shower, or toilet seat.
- Make sure all expired medication and empty shampoo and soap bottles are tossed away regularly.
- Place non-skid adhesive bath mats on most of the bathroom flooring to ensure there are no slips or falls.
- Ensure the hot water heater is set at a maximum of 120°F to avoid scalding hot water.
- Remove any small electronic appliances from the bathroom and cover any electrical outlets not in use.
The Living Room
Get rid of any electric cords that might come in the way of someone walking.
Remove any rugs, mats, and loose carpeting along with unwanted furniture and objects that could cause someone to trip.
Use bright color furnishing to make it easy for people with Alzheimer’s to see and recall where they may have kept certain things.
If the house has a fireplace, have it blocked. Instead, use other alternatives for heating.
Place TV remote controls, headphones, and other control devices in the same place in an organized fashion.
All Outdoor Spaces
Depending on how advanced an individual’s Alzheimer's has gotten, it is perhaps best to restrict or block access to places such as the garage, basement, and outdoor shed. These areas can contain many tools and equipment that could potentially be very dangerous..
Keep vehicle keys and other toxic materials well out of sight. Make sure your motor vehicles are always locked and that any bicycles not in use are covered and kept in storage.
Other Precautions One Can Take
Make sure that smoke and carbon monoxide detectors are installed on every floor and that they work. Set a reminder to replace the batteries every six months to a year.
Make sure you have a list of all emergency numbers in big bold handwriting placed right next to the phone to make it easy for your loved one to call for help in case of an emergency.
n automatic fall detection device or an In-Touch On-The-MOVE device can provide added safety and peace of mind.
Living in our own homes can mean a lot. It gives us a sense of independence, freedom, and comfort.. Using these useful tips and recommendations you can also ensure that your loved one with Alzheimer's can continue to live in their own home happily and safely for as long as possible.