Alzheimer’s and Safety Around the Home
Degenerative neurological disorders, like Alzheimer’s, can change one’s life dramatically. If you are caring for a loved one living with such a condition, then it is helpful to know what measures to take to keep them safe. Disorders like Alzheimer’s change the way people think and behave, and can have impacts on everyday tasks that involve fine motor skills or moderate physical activity. In this blog we will go over safety around the home and what modifications you, as a family caregiver, can make to help out your loved one. In this post, you will learn what kinds of things to look out for in order to ensure that your loved one avoids injury.
What to Look For
According to the Alzheimer’s Association, Alzheimer’s disease and other related dementias can affect safety in various ways. One’s judgement can be impaired, making everyday tasks more dangerous than before. It is also possible for people to become lost and lose sense of one’s place. Because Alzheimer’s is a degenerative neurological disease, it negatively impacts the brain in various ways. On top of aging, it can diminish one’s ability to perform common daily physical tasks, like walking up and down stairs, cooking, showering, and so on. Lastly, degenerative neurological disorders impact behavior and mood and can lead to your loved one responding to various situations in unexpected or negative ways.
How to Create a Safe Environment
The very first step to create a safe environment is to evaluate it and your loved one’s place in it. This means to consider your loved one’s current ability to live daily life, as well as how they usually interact with their environment. Consider how often they go up and down stairs, go into the kitchen, and so on. From here you can find ways to accommodate the surrounding environment for your loved one. Follow these guidelines:
Place Grip Mats on Slippery Areas: Areas that are at risk include where there is commonly water involved, like showers and kitchens. These environments can be big culprits for causing slips and falls. Place grip mats directly outside of showers and near kitchen sinks to reduce the risk of water falling on tile floors.
Avoid Clutter: Keep walkways, bedroom areas, and living rooms free of clutter. This can include shoes, clothes, computer cords, pet toys, children’s toys, books, bags, and so on. These objects can often pose potential risks by causing trips. Individuals whose sight or mobility is impaired are more at risk for tripping and falling. As we age, our bodies are less resilient to injuries and we are more likely to break a bone or seriously injure ourselves.
Make Stairs Easier to Climb: This can mean installing nightlights along the walls or an elevator chair to assist your loved one going up and down.
Keep Track of Medications: To avoid getting confused of your loved one’s medication doses, keep track of them using a pillbox organizer. This can help you and your loved one remember to take scheduled doses, as well as to not take too many if he/she forgets.
These are just some considerations to keep in mind. If you have any other questions, please call ElderCare at Home at 888-285-0093 or visit our website.