Monday, September 13, 2021 | 04:20 AM EST

Your Dementia-friendly Home Safety Guide


      What if a simple change to your home could make a huge impact for someone living with dementia? Taking measures to improve safety can prevent injuries and help the person living with dementia feel at ease, less overwhelmed and maintain his or her independence longer.

      Healthcare providers need to look no further than some simple modifications to make their homes more dementia-friendly. A bit of planning can mean a safer environment for someone who is living with dementia. To reduce home safety hazards for people living with dementia, here are some tips we think you should consider.

1. Keep the environment uncluttered

      By arranging furniture simply and consistently. Loose rugs should be removed and carpet edges should be sealed. Have long electrical cords replaced with coiled or retractable cord. Check smoke detectors and ensure that the alarm is loud enough.

You can also avoid clutter by limiting decorative objects and keeping areas where people walk free of furniture and cords. Trim large plants, and remove plants that might be toxic if eaten. Mark glass doors, windows and furniture to help the patient see panes.

2. Use a pill box organizer for medications

      For someone who is living with dementia and has other health issues, medications play a crucial role. The person can use a simple schedule to take medications at the right time by setting up the pill organizer and regularly counting medications to help ensure they are being used as prescribed. Make sure to keep and put all medications in one secure area especially if the person cannot take medications without supervision.

3. Make sure to keep firearms and other dangerous items in a safe, locked storage

      Firearms and other weapons can be found in households across the country. In most situations, their presence creates no problems for responsible gun owners and others in the household. However, if someone in the home has dementia, firearms can pose a significant risk for everyone. With a gun accessible, the result could be disastrous. Have the lock ammunition in a place separate from firearms and always unload firearms when not in use.

4. Prevent access to potentially dangerous appliance

      Lock up potentially dangerous items like tools, tackle, machines, sporting equipment, paint, fertilizer, gas, cleaning supplies or other toxic materials. Consider covering or removing vehicles and bikes that aren’t frequently used.

      Take caution when using a heating device. IIf electric blankets or heating pads are used, keep the controls out of reach. Nightlights in the bedroom can also help a person find their way out of the room at night. Replace more dangerous forms of heating with safer heating options. Install safety switches, easy to read clocks and large calendars. Don’t leave the person with dementia alone with an open fire in the fireplace

5. Ensure basic food safety precautions

      Remove artificial fruits or vegetables or food-shaped magnets that appear to be edible. Ensure persons with dementia do not have access to foods that are harmful or not properly stored. Breakable or potentially dangerous supplies should be locked away to limit access to items such as cleaning products, alcohol, matches, knives, scissors and even plastic bags.

6. Make the bathroom and laundry room safe

      It’s important to make the bathroom as safe and comfortable as possible. Install a shower chair and grab bars. Address slippery surfaces by installing shower chairs, grab bars, non skid strips. Use a rubber faucet cover in the bathtub to help prevent serious injury if the person with dementia falls in the bathtub. Reduce water temperature by setting the thermostat on your hot water heater to below 120 F (48.9 C). Consider removing locks from the bathroom doors to prevent the person from accidentally locking himself or herself in. If the laundry room has a door, consider keeping it locked to prevent access to the washer and the dryer.

7. Increase Safety

      Last but not the least, installing a monitoring or a tracking device to let you know if the person with dementia needs help.

 

      These are just some of the things that we can do to make a person’s home a safer place. As more people are diagnosed with dementia every year and choose to live at home, we need to determine how we can better support people living with dementia. GooZam Grow, a Distance Learning Platform, equips you with the right knowledge for better understanding of Dementia. Learn more by Register || Goozam Grow.

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