When caring for an individual suffering from Alzheimer’s, it is important to anticipate potential hazards and to adjust his or her environment to minimize risks. Especially in the case of a loved one who is remaining at home, steps should be taken to make everyday tasks safer.
Tips for promoting safety:
- Familiarity and predictability are important. Try to, whenever possible, keep household items in the same place.
- Remove clutter.
- Take small measures around the house. Lower the temperature of the hot water heater to prevent burns, install shower bars and remove rugs to prevent falls.
- Find a safe place for potential hazards. (i.e. matches, cleaning products, medication, and razor blades)
- Consider your loved ones abilities. Evaluate if they are still able to cook, use tools, drive a vehicle, etc.
Keep in mind that what seems obvious to you may not be obvious to your loved one. Try to keep open communication with your family member so they feel involved in the decision-making process, and be compassionate about their feelings.
Alzheimer’s is an extremely difficult disease for both the patient and caregiver. Changes in behavior are not intentional, but usually result because the individual is confused and trying to convey a feeling or frustration. Remember to have patience and take it one step at a time.
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