When living with or caring for a loved one with Alzheimer's disease, it is crucial to maintain home safety. A tiny lapse in care, such as a door left open or a new rug, could result in an unexpected and unfortunate accident.
Here are some essential home safety tips that caregivers and family members can put in place to prevent a dangerous situation.
Bear in mind that the changes you make today will take time for your loved one to get used to.
Living Room Safety
- Clearly display emergency numbers and the home address near all telephones.
- Make sure all windows and doors have working locks.
- Keep everything organized, such as magazines, newspapers, furniture, electric cords, plastic bags, etc.
- Use child proof plugs to cover unused electrical outlets.
- Do not place a lot of decorative items around the living areas that might present a walking hazard.
- Place a large mark on glass doors and windows at the loved one’s eye level to avoid accidental run-ins.
- Never leave the loved one alone if there is an open fire in the fireplace.
- Install smoke alarms, especially near the sleeping areas and kitchen. If your loved one has developed problems with hearing or vision, install smoke alarms with vibrating pads or flashing lights.
- Prevent access to any potentially dangerous electrical or breakable appliances.
- Install safety knobs on the stove so that it is not accidentally turned on.
- Remove any artificial decorative vegetables and fruits that might seem edible.
- Install childproof latches on all drawers and cabinets to limit access to any hazardous item, such as cleaning products, matches, scissors, knives, alcohol, and plastic bags.
- Either cover the stairs with carpet or place non-skid strips.
- Install light switches at the bottom and top of the staircase.
- Make sure the staircase has at least one sturdy handrail.
- To prevent a potentially disastrous fall, install safety gates at the top of the stairs.
- Place a baby monitor in the loved one’s room so that you hear them if they call out for help. This will be especially helpful for those with advanced Alzheimer’s.
- Remove portable space or electric heaters. If heating pads or electric blankets are used, keep their remotes out of reach.
- Use battery-operated night lights in the bedroom and bathroom to prevent falls if your loved ones get up at night.
- Replace the standard shower head with a hand-held one to facilitate mobility while showering.
- Place grab bars near the shower, bathtub, and toilet, to prevent an unfortunate slip and fall.
- Place non-skid strips on the floor, especially near the shower and bathtub.
- Place a foam rubber faucet cover in the bathtub to prevent a severe injury in case of a fall or slip inside the tub.
- Lock all potentially dangerous electrical or cleaning products.
- Set the hot water temperature to below 120 F (48.9 C).
- Consider removing the locks on bathroom doors so that your loved one does not accidentally lock themselves inside.
- If you have a shed, install childproof locks on all cabinets containing potentially dangerous equipment, such as tools, fertilizer bags, weapons, and cleaning supplies.
- Keep all vehicles locked in the garage, and cover or remove vehicles that are not frequently used.
- Consider adding ramps or widening doorways if your loved one uses a wheelchair or a walker.
- Secure a spare set of house keys somewhere outside the house if you or your loved ones are accidentally locked out.
- Install deadbolts on outside doors to avoid your loved ones from accidentally going outside.
- Ensure any steps are durable and textured, especially concerning rain or ice.
- If you have a swimming pool, secure it with a fence or gate, and keep it covered when not in use.
- Keep hoses and foliage off walkways.
Dealing with cognitive decline is extremely hard for a loved one, their family and caregivers. You can make things easier for everyone with one last adaptation: the Best Day Clock from American Lifetime. It has a large display and an extremely user-friendly interface that facilitates use for those with vision impairments, and text-to-speech alarms so that loved ones can remember tasks without always having to rely on caregivers.
The Best Day Clock comes with a two-year warranty and is undoubtedly the best gift for your loved ones during this uncertain and anxious time.