American Lifetime

Making Your Home Safe for Your Loved One with Alzheimer’s

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.

Kitchen Safety 

  • 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.

Stair Safety

  • 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.

Bedroom Safety 

  • 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. 

Bathroom Safety

  • 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.  

Outdoor Safety

  • 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. 

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