5 Tips to Make Home Safer for Families Who Live with Alzheimer’s

Take precautions to protect your loved one

Posted in , Feb 14, 2019

5 Tips to Make Home Safer for Families Who Live with Alzheimer’s

This article is based on information provided by Home Instead Senior Care.

Up to 70 percent of people in the U.S. who have Alzheimer’s disease live in their own homes. While this shows that being diagnosed with the disease does not have to mean losing one’s freedom and independence, it is crucial for families to take safety into consideration. For the sake of everyone involved, the home environment needs to be made secure.

The first step is to adapt the home to support the changing abilities of the person with Alzheimer's. Be sure to re-evaluate home safety measures regularly as the disease progresses. 

Garages and other outdoor areas, as well as indoor spaces, such as basements and workrooms, pose particular risks to people with dementia. Make sure you pay special attention to those places. To help protect your family member with Alzheimer’s, you can make these simple modifications to bathrooms, bedrooms, the living room and kitchen.

  • Add grab bars to the bathroom so that the person can move around safely and independently.
  • Affix textured stickers to slippery surfaces, get rid of throw rugs, cut down on clutter and limit access to stairs to reduce risk of falls.
  • Buy and install working fire extinguishers and smoke detectors.
  • Use child-proof locks and doorknob covers to secure or disguise hazardous places.
  • Limit access to areas with knives, poisonous chemicals and appliances.

Enroll the person with dementia in an emergency response service designed specifically for individuals with Alzheimer's or a related dementia who wander or may have a medical emergency. Should the individual become lost, a caregiver can report the situation to an emergency response network including the local Alzheimer’s Association chapter and law enforcement agencies that will work to get the individual home safely. You may also want to consider a web-based GPS location management service to remotely monitor the person with Alzheimer’s. Check with the Alzheimer’s Association for more information about these services.

A network of caregiving professionals is available to help you and your loved one with Alzheimer's or dementia. They are a great resource for additional suggestions on creating a safe home environment. Companies such as Home Instead Senior Care®typically provide a home safety evaluation as part of their initial in-home assessment to offer recommendations specific to your living space and the needs of the person with Alzheimer’s or dementia.

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