A diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease although very serious does not necessarily mean you will no longer be able to care for your loved one at home. But, it does mean that you will have to prepare yourself in numerous ways, the Senior Care Society is here to help you with those preparations; physically, medically, and emotionally. We will cover each of these topics both by presenting resource information and informative articles on each of the aforementioned topics.
The following article is based on recommendations from the Alzheimer’s Foundation, and the Senior Care Society’s own patient advocates, like me, who have walked your path. It is our hope to bring you assurances, which through education, preparation and understanding you will realize that it can be done. Knowing that you are not alone in your journey as caregiver, no one can do this alone. That together, with caregiver support and preparation it is possible for you to provide the very best compassionate home care your loved one with Alzheimer’s deserves and needs.
The Senior Care Society has prepared a series of articles on preparing for Alzheimer’s disease; this article is dedicated to suggestions for preparing and safeguarding your home for living with a person who has been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease or Dementia.
Every home and its environment are different and so there is no cookie cutter set of steps to follow for safeguarding your home for Alzheimer’s; a certain amount of introspection is called for.
However, there are standard suggestions for safeguarding your home for each stage of the disease. These are general suggestions for any home; it is up to you to determine if any apply to your home in particular. Below you will find a list of suggestions:
SAFEGUARDING YOUR HOME FOR ALZHEIMER’S
- To avoid the person from wandering from home, getting lost or injured outside the home you may want to install window and door alarms that will beep or alert you when someone has opened a door or window.
- Remove interior door locks to avoid the person from locking themselves in.
- When possible install locking doors (when absent) or locks on doors leading to rooms that could present a danger; i.e. kitchen, bathroom, basement, attic, sewing/hobby room, garage, etc.
- Safeguard the entire house as you would for a child; childproof electrical outlets, cabinets, sharp objects, secure book shelves or furniture that can be pulled down atop of a person.
- Secure/lock/ medicine cabinets, medications, alcohol, vitamins, cleaning products, detergents, soaps and aerosols.
- Obviously secure all weapons, guns, ammunition etc. from reach or handling.
- Lower the temperature of the water heater to prevent accidental scalding.
- Remove stove/gas knobs.
- Install locks on all outdoor structures; i.e. garage, barn, tool shed, workshop etc.
- Store all dangerous or sharp objects; hack saws, blades, rakes, shovels, pesticides etc.
- Keep all vehicles locked at all times and car or motorized vehicle keys out of reach.
- Install pool gates and alarms for in ground pools, remove and securely store (out of reach) pool ladder for above ground pool.
- Remove any potentially poisonous plants, shrubs or trees.
- Remove any ropes/ rope type objects that could cause strangulation.
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