Living independently with Alzheimer’s can be a real challenge. This is why many patients move into assisted living or memory care facilities as their condition worsens. But for some people, staying in their own home or with family is the best option for their mental health, or perhaps due to financial constraints.
If you’re living with someone who has Alzheimer’s, then it’s important that you make sure the house is fit for them to safely navigate.
The dangers of Alzheimer’s
As Alzheimer’s progresses and everyday tasks become a challenge, there are a number of dangers facing Alzheimer’s patients who are living somewhat independently. Wandering is a common habit of dementia and Alzheimer’s patients, which means they could leave the house and wander off into the street, not being mindful of traffic.
Balance and motor functions may be impaired, which can create a risk of falling and tripping around the house. Normal household appliances can also be hazards as your loved one may forget how to use them safely. This means that sharp knives and blenders might be hazardous, and anything involving heat, such as the oven, kettle, and even the hot water tap.
A safety checklist for your home
With these hazards in mind, here are some areas to pay attention to during Alzheimer’s care:
To prevent them from wandering out of the house, it’s a good idea to keep doors locked if they lead outside. Installing a deadbolt at the top of the door may prevent them from unlocking doors themselves.
If your family member has reduced mobility, then installing a walk-in shower will help them to navigate the bathroom more easily. Grab rails and non-slip mats or tiles will also help to reduce the risk of slips and trips. Installing a temperature valve on the faucets can prevent them from scalding themselves on hot water.
Hot water is also a risk in the kitchen, so you might want temperature valves in there. Childproofing drawers and cupboards that store sharp knives and cleaning chemicals, for example, will help to prevent accidents. Safety knobs for the stove will also help to prevent burns.
If you have a garage with power tools and other potentially dangerous objects, make sure it is locked and supervise your family member if they do need to enter the garage. If they tend to spend time in the garage for a hobby, for example, then make sure any dangerous tools are locked away or out of reach.
If you need additional support for a loved one with Alzheimer’s, then Brookstone of Clemmons can help provide the right level of Alzheimer’s care for your loved one. Get in touch to find out more about our assisted living care.