Caring for an elderly parent with dementia is challenging and can take an emotional and physical toll on everyone involved.
A safe home can create a less stressful environment for an elderly loved one that is suffering from Dementia, as well as their home caregiver and family members. Here are some helpful tips for making your elderly parents safe at home:
• Display emergency numbers near all of the phones, complete with contact details and relationships.
• Set your answering machine to pick up on the fewest number of rings. An elderly loved one with dementia is often unable to take a message or can easily become a victim of phone scams. To decrease the anxiety, remove the need for them to answer the phone.
• Install locks on the inside and outside of all doors and windows. Also, install locks high up so that your elderly loved one with Alzheimer’s cannot unlock the door without you.
• Hide a key outside your home or give a copy to your neighbor. This is to decrease the stress of when your loved one with dementia accidentally locks you out of the house.
• Cover all unused electrical outlets with childproof covers. As Alzheimer’s disease progresses in your loved one it will be imperative to safety proof your home similar to what you would do for a toddler.
• For homes with elderly parents that have dementia, stairway safety is essential. You should have the handrail extend beyond the first and last step to help your loved one that has dementia not fall and keep their balance. Also, if possible, stairways should be carpeted and have safety grips on the stairs. The use of gates across the stairs is also helpful to keep your loved one with dementia from going up and down the stairs without you knowing.
• As dementia progresses, some people will wonder. At Alvita Care, we strongly encourage putting bells on every door. This will alert you or the caregiver that your loved one with dementia is leaving a room.
• Keep all alcohol and prescription medications in a locked cabinet. Drinking alcohol can highly confuse a person with dementia, and a professional should monitor their medication closely and handle it.
• Lock all power tools and machinery in the garage, workroom, or basement; keep the blades for the tools in a different locked location to prevent all accidents.
You do not have to embark on the journey of dealing with an elderly loved one that has dementia alone. Caring for an individual with Alzheimer’s or dementia disease does not need to consume your life. At Alvita Care, we strongly encourage you to enlist the help of a friend, professional, community support group, or your local chapter of the Alzheimer’s Association.
Links to some special skills that can benefit someone with Alzheimer’s or dementia include:
- Communicating with Alzheimer’s clients
- Preventing wandering
- Ensuring healthy and adequate meals
- Participating in exercise
- Engaging in activities
- Monitoring for a safe home environment
Our home caregivers are available to assist with personal care, household services, respite, and/or companion care while bringing exceptional compassion, skills, and knowledge about Alzheimer’s and dementia to our clients.