If you have an elderly parent living at home with Alzheimer’s Disease or another form of dementia, then you know how challenging it is to keep them safe. You may also know that moving an elder with dementia to a nursing home can increase confusion and escalate cognitive decline.
People with Alzheimer’s Disease fare better in familiar environments, surrounded by familiar faces. They may not always remember the names of the people around them, but familiarity with surroundings and routine evokes a sense of calm. New environments often cause anxiety, which can unfortunately lead to unacceptable behavior.
Keeping an elder with dementia at home safely requires special precautions. Wandering can be an issue, so alarms may need to be placed on doors. Door locks should be moved and placed high or low on exterior doors to prevent wandering outside the home. Locks should be removed from inside doors of bathrooms or bedrooms to prevent the elder from getting locked inside.
Sleep disturbances are common and you may find your elder parent getting up in the middle of the night with increased confusion. It may be necessary to use an alarmed mat by the bedside to alert other members of the household about nighttime awakenings.
Make sure appliances (like irons, curling irons, heaters) have an “auto shut off” feature to prevent burns or fires. Disable the stove if need be or install a hidden gas valve or circuit breaker. Use child proof locks or door knob covers on cabinets containing hazardous cleaning agents, knives, or on doors leading to stairways.
Elders with Alzheimer’s Disease fall more frequently than elders who do not have dementia, and thus the safety precautions to prevent falls is even more critical. My passion is to ensure that seniors live with as much independence and dignity in the homes and communities they cherish for as long as possible. I have so much more information including videos of where to install grab rails in the bathroom, how to prevent slips and trips indoors and outside the home, and to how to safety proof each room in the house.
Elders who remain in their own homes and communities live longer and have more satisfying and productive lives.
For two free videos – the first to show you how to reduce your parent’s risk of tripping or slipping and the second to teach you an unbelievably effective yet simple and inexpensive way to make stairs less of a hazard go to: www.HelpElderlyParents.com