Friday, December 2, 2022
HomeAlzheimerSafety For Alzheimer's Patients

Safety For Alzheimer’s Patients

Where Else Can I Get Support To Keep Safe At Home

Caregiver Training: Home Safety | UCLA Alzheimer’s and Dementia Care Program

Your GP or staff at the memory clinic or social services can also give advice on staying safe at home. They may refer you to an occupational therapist, who can help you to think about how to do some of the things around the house that youre finding difficult.

For detailed information on aspects of living safely at home, take a look at:

More Useful Links And Resources

Conversations about dementia and living alone. Alzheimer Society of Canada, February 2018. This sheet provides information on what to consider when deciding if a person with dementia should continue living alone.

All about me. Alzheimer Society of Canada. A booklet designed for people living with dementia to help them create a record of their background and what is important to them.

Be ready for an emergency department visit – checklist. Alzheimer Society of Canada and Older Adult Hospital Readiness , October 2015. Part of the Older Adult Hospital Readiness Dementia Series, this checklist can help people living with dementia better prepare for a visit to the emergency department. This series is the result of a research project funded by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research and the Alzheimer Society of Canada.

Dementia and COVID-19: Tips for people who have dementia and are living alone. Alzheimer Society of Canada, 2020. This tip sheet goes through six essential pieces of advice to help people who have dementia and are living alone manage through COVID-19.

Heads up for healthier living. Alzheimer Society of Canada, August 2014. This downloadable brochure can help people living with Alzheimer’s disease and their families make lifestyle choices to stay healthy and live well with dementia. The tips and strategies in this brochure are applicable to people living with other types of dementia as well.

Tips For Home Safety For People With Dementia

As a caregiver or family member to a person with Alzheimers or related dementias, you can take steps to make the home a safer place. Removing hazards and adding safety features around the home can help give the person more freedom to move around independently and safely. Try these tips:

  • If you have stairs, make sure there is at least one handrail. Put carpet or safety grip strips on stairs, or mark the edges of steps with brightly colored tape so they are more visible.
  • Insert safety plugs into unused electrical outlets and consider safety latches on cabinet doors.
  • Clear away unused items and remove small rugs, electrical cords, and other items the person may trip over.
  • Make sure all rooms and outdoor areas the person visits have good lighting.
  • Remove curtains and rugs with busy patterns that may confuse the person.
  • Remove or lock up cleaning and household products, such as paint thinner and matches.

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Planning For The Future: Tips For Caregivers

Making health care decisions for someone who is no longer able to do so can be overwhelming. Thats why it is important to plan health care directives in advance. To help plan for the future, you can:

  • Start discussions early with your loved one so they can be involved in the decision-making process.
  • Get permission in advance to talk to the doctor or lawyer of the person youre caring for, as needed. There may be questions about care, a bill, or a health insurance claim. Without consent, you may not be able to get needed information.
  • Consider legal and financial matters, options for in-home care, long-term care, and funeral and burial arrangements.

Learning about your loved ones disease will help you know what to expect as the dementia progresses and what you can do.

What To Know About Driving

Alzheimers Disease &  Home Safety

It’s important to plan ahead for the time when driving may no longer be safe for you. Look for alternative modes of transportation such as public transit, services provided by community organizations, transportation organized by family members and friends or setting up an account with a local taxi company.

To learn more about living well with dementia, you can download our Heads Up for Healthier Living brochure , for people living with Alzheimer’s disease and their families. Even if you have another type of dementia, the tips and strategies in this brochure can help you live well.

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Treat Your Caregiving Like A New Job

Some caretakers find that caring for a loved one with dementia is like a full-time job. A lot of time, attention and life changes can be needed to ensure the loved ones safety.

As with any job, plan by finding opportunities for short breaks. Talk with family members to see if they might be able to care for your loved one for the night. If that doesnt work, try researching other methods to avoid burnout.

Make Sure They Can Be Identified

Be sure your loved ones have some form of identification on them. Multiple forms of identification, emergency contact numbers and disclosure of their medical diagnosis of dementia are a good idea, in case one form is removed or lost. You might get an ID bracelet or pendant, or one that laces into shoelaces or attaches to a watchband, as well as identification inside their clothing and in their wallet. My boyfriend suggested a very simple Road ID bracelet with a comfortable wristband like the one he wore when he went running. I purchased one for my dad, and he wore it for eight years, never trying to remove it. Be sure you have recent photos in case they are needed for identification in a search effort to locate an older adult who is missing.

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How To Approach Safety With A Loved One

Most people cherish their independence, so its not a big surprise that many older adults resist changes that make it feel as though theyre losing some of the independence theyve enjoyed throughout their lives. Thats why approaching safety concerns with a loved one is a delicate task, but nonetheless, its an important one.

The most important thing to remember is that you should keep your loved one as informed and as involved in the decision-making process as possible. By giving them a sense of ownership in making decisions, theyll feel less like theyre being stripped of their independence. Talk to your loved one about your fears and ask how theyd like certain risks to be addressed if they become a real concern.

Having these conversations before a crisis is crucial and allows you to develop a plan and know that your decisions will be in line with your loved ones wishes, even if they are no longer able to actively engage in decision-making when the time comes to implement certain steps.

Tips For Implementing Safety Measures In The Home For Those With Alzheimers Disease:

Home Safety Tips for People Living with Alzheimer’s
  • Remove any rugs that may cause a tripping hazard
  • Place matches and any other fire hazards out of reach
  • Remove any objects that could cause injury
  • Lock up medications and other dangerous substances
  • Install safety doors such as swinging or folding doors to block stairs and storage areas
  • Keep an emergency list handy with the phone numbers of local hospital, police, and poison control
  • Keep fire extinguishers and smoke detectors in working order
  • Remove locks inside of rooms such as bathrooms to prevent those with Alzheimers accidently getting locked inside
  • Ensure that hallways and all walkways are well lit
  • Implement a pill organizer to ensure medications are taken properly
  • Remove excess clutter and items that could cause a tripping hazard such as coffee tables and magazine racks
  • Monitor the temperature of water-set the hot water heater at a low setting to prevent burning

Falls are one of the most common household accidents incurred by the elderly, in fact the Centers for Disease Control reports that nearly 1 out of every 3 adults over 65 falls every year and that falls are one of the leading causes of injury and death in the elderly population.

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Tips For A Healthy And Active Lifestyle For People With Dementia

Eating healthy and staying active is good for everyone and is especially important for people with Alzheimers and related dementias. As the disease progresses, finding ways for the person to eat healthy foods and stay active may be increasingly challenging. Here are some tips that may help:

  • Consider different activities the person can do to stay active, such as household chores, cooking and baking, exercise, and gardening. Match the activity to what the person can do.
  • Help get an activity started or join in to make the activity more fun. People with dementia may lack interest or initiative and can have trouble starting activities. But, if others do the planning, they may join in.
  • Add music to exercises or activities if it helps motivate the person. Dance to the music if possible.
  • Be realistic about how much activity can be done at one time. Several short mini-workouts may be best.
  • Take a walk together each day. Exercise is good for caregivers, too!
  • Buy a variety of healthy foods, but consider food that is easy to prepare, such as premade salads and single portions.
  • Give the person choices about what to eat, for example, Would you like yogurt or cottage cheese?

When Dementia Alters Perceptions Alter Environment

Step by Step

Step 1. Contact your local Area Agency on Aging and the Alzheimer’s Association. They can give guidance and can usually recommend local aging life care experts, occupational or physical therapists, geriatric care managers or aging care experts and certified aging-in-place specialists who can come to your home and advise on safety issues.

Step 2. Take a tour of your own house, looking at it from your loved ones compromised point of view. Dementia affects cognitive abilities, depth perception, balance, coordination, memory and strength. People with the disease have difficulty understanding instructions, accurately interpreting the world around them and making sound choices. Even if your loved one is still managing well, prepare your house for the future, ideally before moving day. People with dementia take more time to adjust and may not be able to adapt to a changed environment. Little things like rearranging the furniture can seem sudden and unsettling. Big changes like redecorating can be alarming.

Step 3. Print out the AARP checklist for home safety.Start in the front yard. Make a to-do list as you go.

Step 4. Inspect each room.

People with dementia have an easier time deciphering a room when the walls are painted in a pale color that reflects light and contrasts with the floor. Also note:

Step 5. Inspect the bathroom.

Step 6. Focus on bedrooms.

Step 7. Check the kitchen.

Step 8. Check the den/home office.

Step 9. Go outside.

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Tips For Everyday Care For People With Dementia

Early on in Alzheimers and related dementias, people experience changes in thinking, remembering, and reasoning in a way that affects daily life and activities. Eventually, people with these diseases will need more help with simple, everyday tasks. This may include bathing, grooming, and dressing. It may be upsetting to the person to need help with such personal activities. Here are a few tips to consider early on and as the disease progresses:

  • Try to keep a routine, such as bathing, dressing, and eating at the same time each day.
  • Help the person write down to-do lists, appointments, and events in a notebook or calendar.
  • Plan activities that the person enjoys and try to do them at the same time each day.
  • Consider a system or reminders for helping those who must take medications regularly.
  • When dressing or bathing, allow the person to do as much as possible.
  • Buy loose-fitting, comfortable, easy-to-use clothing, such as clothes with elastic waistbands, fabric fasteners, or large zipper pulls instead of shoelaces, buttons, or buckles.
  • Use a sturdy shower chair to support a person who is unsteady and to prevent falls. You can buy shower chairs at drug stores and medical supply stores.
  • Be gentle and respectful. Tell the person what you are going to do, step by step while you help them bathe or get dressed.
  • Serve meals in a consistent, familiar place and give the person enough time to eat.

Use These Questions To Help Guide Your Decision

Alzheimers Prevention Toolkit  ARPF

“If you have dementia, you need to discover and know your limitations so you too can live well. Let people know that you are still a person, and they should talk to you about any decisions that involve you â donât be afraid to ask for help.” – Sandra, from Halifax, Nova Scotia. Sandra lives with dementia with Lewy bodies with Parkinson’s.

In page three of our brochure, Conversations about dementia and living alone,there is a questionnaire that asks a person to assess whether they can continue living alone. By getting someone you trust to fill out this questionnaire, you can get more insight on where you stand. However, be prepared to read an assessment that you may not agree with.

The information on this page is also available to read in a print-friendly PDF. Download Conversations about dementia and living alone or contact your Society for a copy.

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Safety Measures For Alzheimers Patients

This guide will advise you on essential safety change to make for Alzheimers patients in the home. It covers all the important things you probably havent thought about.

Safety is important for everyone, but the need for a safety plan for individuals living with Alzheimers as with the disease progression. Alzheimers patients become less able to manage around the house. Alzheimers results in several changes in the brain and body that may affect safety. The change depends on the stages of the disease and not everyone experiences the same symptoms. These can include changes in judgment, being confused or fearful, trouble with balance, memory deficits, experiencing changes in vision, and hearing, change in sensitivity to temperatures.

Taking safety measures following medications can help prevent injuries and help a person with maintaining his/her independence longer. Buy best medicine for Alzheimers onlineat the best price.

Make safety a priority at home

Home safety plays a crucial role in the lives of seniors with Alzheimers disease or dementia. The brain disorder turns simple household work into serious safety hazards. This is the reason why it is necessary to make a dementia proof environment in your home. Check the list of these safety measures that help you make the house safe for older adults with dementia.

Prioritize the Checklist

Dementia Vs Alzheimers Disease

You might interchange the two for they present almost the same signs and symptoms. Both of them affect your memory, thought processes, and cognitive ability, and both could make your life harder than it already is. So whats the difference?

  • Dementia is a general term that describes the signs and symptoms of conditions that negatively affect your memory, communication, and daily activities. Remember that dementia is not a disease. It is a syndrome or a group of symptoms, so it is not a specific diagnosis. Here are the warning signs of dementia that you should take note of.
  • Alzheimers disease, on the other hand, falls under the category of dementia. It is a progressive neurodegenerative disease. The risk of having Alzheimers disease increases as you age. With our present technology, the disease still has no known cause and no known cure.

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Can I Care For My Loved One At Home Through All Stages Of Dementia

Home care is often recommended by experts through end of life. However, every family and situation is different, so permanent home care may not always be possible.

Research shows keeping a loved one with dementia at home helps them be happier and live longer however, it is most impactful when introduced early. Its a preventive model to educate the family to be dementia smart and understand the disease progression and triggers down the road, Havrilla explains. But if the family is not able to give their loved one the care they need, rehabilitation facilities, nursing homes and assisted living residences are good alternatives.

Fill Out The All About Me Booklet

Caregiver Training: Agitation and Anxiety | UCLA Alzheimer’s and Dementia Care Program
  • As your dementia progresses and it becomes more difficult to manage the changes in your abilities, it’s important that you record the things that make you the person you are.
  • All about me is a booklet that can help you tell others about yourself. Through All about me, you can focus on the positive: What you are good at, rather than what is no longer possible.
  • An editable PDF version of All about me is available for download, which allows you to type your information directly into the document.

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Emergency Technology For Staff And Residents

Memory care staff members are on duty 24 hours a day, seven days a week, in case of emergencies. Additionally, apartments are equipped with emergency buttons or call systems.

Its quite common to have an emergency button in the apartment, says Gurung. The staff and residents can utilize it in the bathroom or bedroom depending on the placement.

Memory care communities prioritize your loved ones safety by doing their best to provide direct and timely communication in emergencies. To this end, staff may also use technology features like:

  • Senior-friendly phones
  • Two-way radios or walkie-talkies
  • Emergency pendants and bracelets that may have GPS capabilities

Recently, some memory care communities have implemented Alzheimers safety products, such as sensor-powered, wrist-worn devices with predictive care. CarePredicts Tempo detects your loved ones daily movements, indoor location, and ambient room information to anticipate emerging health problems. Through learning your seniors daily schedule and environment, the wearable device can detect elopement, falls, malnutrition, and more. It will automatically alert their care team of potential health risks, so they can take action before its too late.

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