Home Safety For Dementia Patients
As the U.S. population ages, more and more people will experience the debilitating effects of Alzheimer’s disease or dementia, which can make them easy targets for injury at home if they are not careful. If you are caring for someone with dementia, these home safety for dementia patients are an essential way to keep them safe and secure in their own home.
Dementia is not a single disease; it’s an overall term — like heart disease — that covers a wide range of specific medical conditions, including Alzheimer’s disease. Disorders grouped under the general term “dementia” are caused by abnormal brain changes. These changes trigger a decline in thinking skills, also known as cognitive abilities, severe enough to impair daily life and independent function. They also affect behavior, feelings and relationships.
Alzheimer’s disease accounts for 60-80% of cases. Vascular dementia, which occurs because of microscopic bleeding and blood vessel blockage in the brain, is the second most common cause of dementia. Those who experience the brain changes of multiple types of dementia simultaneously have mixed dementia. There are many other conditions that can cause symptoms of dementia, including some that are reversible, such as thyroid problems and vitamin deficiencies.
Dementia is often incorrectly referred to as “senility” or “senile dementia,” which reflects the formerly widespread but incorrect belief that serious mental decline is a normal part of aging.
Safety Precautions For Dementia Patients
1) Lock Up Laundry Soaps And Cleaners
Keeping laundry soaps and cleaners locked up is one of the most important safety precautions for dementia patients. These products can be extremely harmful if ingested, and can also cause skin irritation.
Keep all household products out of reach or locked up. Household cleaners, laundry detergents, bleach, and other harmful substances can be fatal if ingested by someone with dementia. Keep in mind that children who visit a loved one may also be at risk for accidentally ingesting harmful substances left around your home. Lock these items up, and keep medicine cabinets closed to protect from curious little hands.
2) Always Use Flashlights Instead Of Candles
One other very important safety precautions for dementia patients is to always use flashlights instead of candles. Candles can easily be knocked over and cause a fire, but flashlights are much more stable. Plus, if there’s a power outage, you will still be able to see.
Here are a few other tips to keep in mind:
– Always carry a flashlight with you when walking outside at night.
– Avoiding using plastic bags or containers as they can trap heat and suffocate the person
– Don’t allow anyone who has dementia to eat things that have a strong odor like garlic or onions because they might not be able to smell the food. If they do accidentally ingest something with an unpleasant odor, try giving them milk or water because it may help break down the food faster so it doesn’t stay in their system as long.
3) Use Push Buttons Instead Of Switches
One home safety tip for dementia patients is to use push buttons instead of switches. This can help prevent them from accidentally turning off appliances or lights. Plus, it can also help reduce the risk of falls.
4) Keep A Safe Distance From Stove Pans
Another important safety precautions for dementia patients is to keep a safe distance from stove pans. If a pan is left on the stove, it can quickly become too hot to touch, leading to serious burns. Always keep an eye on your loved one when they are near the stove, and make sure they stay at least a few feet away from any hot pans.
5) Stay Away From Chemicals
One of the best ways to keep your home safe for a dementia patient is to remove any and all chemicals. This includes things like cleaners, detergents, and even certain kinds of plants. If you ca not remove them completely, make sure they are stored in a safe place where the patient can not access them.
6) Install Grab Bars In The Bathroom
One of the most important things you can do to make your home safe for a dementia patient is to install grab bars in the bathroom. This will help prevent falls and make it easier for them to get in and out of the tub or shower.
You should also put a nonslip mat in the tub or shower.
Make sure all rooms are well lit (five sentences):
Dementia patients often have trouble seeing, so it’s important to make sure all rooms in your home are well lit.
7) Avoid Moving Furniture
One other best ways to prevent falls and other accidents is to keep furniture in its place. If you have dementia or caring for one, it’s important to create a safe environment at home by avoiding any unnecessary obstacles. Use this dementia home safety checklist to help you identify potential hazards in your home:
• Remove area rugs or use double-sided tape to keep them in place.
• Keep cords and wires out of the way.
• Move furniture away from walkways.
8) Check Medication Levels Regularly
Make sure dementia patients take their medication regularly; also ensure that the medication is always available. That is why you need to check their medications regularly. It is also pertinent to keep the medication out of their reach so that they do not abuse it.
9) Remove Clutter Around Bed:
To prevent fall, try to remove clusters around the bed. When there are clusters around the bed, they may trip and fall due to entanglement which may lead to dislocation, or any other serious injury.
10) Call Your Doctor if Any Concerns Arise: Call your doctor if need arises.