Most seniors want nothing more than to grow old in their own homes. But, a diagnosis of Alzheimer’s Disease or other forms of dementia can complicate that wish. Alzheimer’s is a progressive, degenerative disease that results in the severe loss of memory and other abilities. For seniors with the disease, once minor tasks become challenging and everyday appliances or decor may pose new safety risks. If you have a senior loved one with dementia, here are a few household tips for safer aging in place.
Preparing for the worst but hoping for the best is a pearl of wisdom applicable in many situations, and, aging in place with Alzheimer’s is no exception! Stay prepared by installing extra smoke and carbon monoxide detectors. And, don’t forget to make sure batteries are changed every 6 months. Keep the Poison Control helpline handy, as well as other emergency phone numbers (post them in large print somewhere highly visible to your loved one and caregivers).
Poison Control: 1-800-222-1222
Clear the clutter, remove throw rugs, and secure electrical cords. Keep floor plans open – no bulky end tables!
Any doors with locks should be either below or above eye level. This will minimize the risk of your senior loved one accidentally locking themself out of the house. Install child locks on cabinets and pantries with medication, cleaning supplies, or other poisonous substances.
Consider door alarms and security systems that will alert you if your senior loved one wanders. Invest in cameras for added protection and peace of mind if someone cannot be there constantly
Alzheimer’s Disease and other forms of dementia can oftentimes make seeing more difficult. Changes in light can also be disorienting. Try to create even lighting throughout your loved one’s home. Add nightlights throughout hallways. Also, consider motion-activated lights that don’t require flipping a switch.
These are just a few tips for safely aging in place! To find more help or other dementia info, visit these great resources:
Alzheimer’s Disease and Dementia Senior Resource Center
Alzheimer’s Association Home Safety
Originally published May 15, 2023
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