Alzheimer’s Home Safety
Caring for a loved one with Alzheimer’s in a home environment without the resources available to an assisted living facility can be challenging. Assisted living facilities rely on nursing staff and advanced technology, such as wander wearable devices to keep Alzheimer’s residents safe from harm. This type of device notifies staff through a perimeter alert system at the assisted living community that an Alzheimer’s patient has left a secure area of the facility. Alerts can prevent a resident from leaving the facility, keeping them from getting lost or being injured in accidents.
If you don’t have access to similar safety features at home, how can you keep your loved one safe? We have put together a list of Alzheimer’s safety tips. You can keep your loved one out of harm’s way through the use of Alzheimer’s safety products and by implementing Alzheimer’s home safety strategies.
Home Safety Tips for Alzheimer’s Patients
Whatever your reasons for keeping a loved one with Alzheimer’s at home with you, one thing is certain: you must make your home environment safe for them. One tripping hazard or unlocked exterior door could mean disaster. It’s vital for you to implement safety mechanisms at your home and have a plan for how best to take care of your family member. A few tips for home safety for those with Alzheimer’s disease have been described below.
Home Security System
Realistically most families won’t be able to install an access control system or ResidentGuard system employed at senior living facilities and hospitals, but you can find some effective and affordable alternatives.
Home security systems with tracking devices could help protect your loved one. Some tracking systems even utilize GPS, so you can track down an Alzheimer’s sufferer quickly, before anything unfortunate happens to them. At minimum, a monitoring system could help you keep watch over your loved one.
Make a Safety Plan
Before you can properly care for your family member with Alzheimer’s or dementia, you need to make a plan. Every person is unique, and their physical and mental limitations need to be considered. Each home has different hazards and safety considerations. You should also figure out a schedule of care.
For instance, if you and other caregivers will be splitting up caregiving time, make a schedule so that everyone is on the same page and your elderly family member is never accidentally left alone.
Think of safety hazards, such as tripping hazards, and install safety features and products such as handrails and grab bars. Remove anything dangerous or hazardous, such as space heaters, door locks, weapons, alcohol, or matches.
The more thorough your safety plan is, the more likely you will be to prevent accidents or wandering.
Implement Safety Measures Throughout the Home
You want to think about what could be dangerous for an Alzheimer’s patient. For example, if your loved one has memory issues, they may forget that they already took their medication that day. You will want to lock up medications so they can’t accidentally overdose. Thinking carefully about what could go wrong will help you install safety mechanisms throughout your home.
Here are some more safety tips you could choose to implement at your house to keep your elderly family member safe:
- Write important and emergency phone numbers down in a place where everyone can see them.
- Install safety latches on cabinets and drawers.
- Lock up dangerous items, such as medications, power tools, firearms, matches, household cleaners, etc.
- Remove tripping hazards, such as rugs.
- Install safety knobs and automatic shut-off switches.
- Put timers or sensors on lights.
- Eliminate clutter.
- Make sure all exterior windows and doors have secure locks, and install alarms that will alert you if any access points have been breached.
- Install a locking gate around a swimming pool.
- Consider placing night-lights throughout the home.
For additional information about Alzheimer’s disease, dementia, and safety, visit the National Institute on Aging.
If You Choose an Assisted Living Facility...
Taking care of a loved one with dementia or Alzheimer’s at home may seem like an overwhelming endeavor, but with creative solutions, you can develop a safe environment in the home. You don’t have a full-time staff, ResidentGuard wander management system, or an access control system to keep your loved one safe. It’s up to you to take the time to secure your home and implement necessary changes to make it safe for your family member to live in.
If you decide that the safest place for your loved one is at an elder care facility, make sure you choose one with safety systems in place. Ask questions about the safety measures being taken to protect residents from wandering. Learn more about resident safety in senior care communities and hospitals by visiting the website of Accutech Healthcare Security Solutions.
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