Home Safety Tips for Seniors With Dementia
If you are living with a senior loved one who also suffers from dementia, then caring for these individuals can sometimes seem like a full-time job. As a dementia caregiver, the more that you do in order to keep your loved one safe, the better off they will be. In addition to looking after these seniors, this also requires making sure their environment is as safe as possible. The safer, the home is, the safer your loved one will be.
This is why going through and making some important safety changes to your home is so important. Here are some of the best things you can do to keep your home as safe as possible for someone living with dementia.
- Hide and lock away any poisonous liquids or materials in case they are accidentally ingested.
- Pay special attention to basements, sheds, garages and work spaces that may have sharp objects or tools in them that can cause injuries or accidents.
- Keep the kitchen as safe as possible. This is one of the most common areas of the home where accidents take place. Stoves, ovens and knives all provide major risks for seniors with dementia.
- Don’t leave sugar, salt or butter out in the open and remove any decorative fruits from the home.
- Keep a list of emergency numbers in an easy-to-access area of the home.
- Consider child-locks for doors or areas of the home where you wouldn’t want your loved one to go unsupervised.
- If you have a pool consider a guard or additional safety features that can prevent seniors from wandering in and drowning.
- In the evenings make sure that you are locking doors and windows or consider adding an alarm system that will alert you if your loved one gets up and wanders and tries to leave the home.
- Remove clutter from the home that may act as a fall hazard and make sure that your loved one has a clear and safe path to walk through.
- Add ample lighting to hallways and community spaces in the home so that seniors don’t run into things in the middle of the night.
- Add hand railings and non-slip mats in the bathrooms, as these are common areas for falls to happen.
- Label everything that your loved one may need to use on a regular basis, especially if they tend to forget how to use or where to find everyday items.
Little things like these can really go a long way for you and your senior loved one with dementia. While some of these tips may not seem necessary, it is important to remember that seniors with dementia can have periods of confusion where something like a bottle of bleach may look like a gallon of milk to them. The more that you can do to prevent issues from happening just in case, the better of your loved one will be as they continue to age in place in a comfortable, safe and encouraging environment.
- Lori Thomas has decades of experience as a caregiver. Her writing for SeniorAdvice.com is informed by years of research as well as hands-on family experience caring for her now late mother, who had chronic health issues for most of her life. Lori is an integral part of the SeniorAdvice.com management team, acting as Vice President of Marketing and Chief Editor.
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