When your loved one has Alzheimer’s disease or another form of dementia, you may struggle with their symptoms and how to keep them as safe as possible at home. They may be prone to wandering, might leave household appliances on or may even get into potentially toxic materials. Because of this, it’s important to find ways to ensure home safety. “Safety is a big issue for those with memory loss and their caregivers,” says Jillian Castellano, Community Relations Director at YourLife™ of Coconut Creek, a Memory Care community in Coconut Creek, Florida. “Those with dementia may not perceive danger the same as they did before as a result of their memory loss. They may have forgotten because of the changes that are occurring in their brain, or it might simply just be a lapse in judgment; however, it’s important to prepare the home and adapt it to reduce the safety hazards that may be hiding in your home.”
Creating a Dementia-Safe Home
Adapting your home to keep your loved one safe may be easier than you think. Many products are sold to help prevent accidents and injuries, and even some clever thinking can make the home safer. Go from room to room and try some of the following tips to help create a more dementia-proof home.
- Pick up any loose papers or clutter, and secure wires. If there are any loose cords on the floor, furniture that your loved one could trip and fall over or even papers and clutter, clean them up. A clean and uncluttered home can help to prevent trips, falls, broken bones and injury to your loved one with memory loss.
- Try moving your loved one to the main floor of the home. Stairs can be an issue for those with memory loss - or any senior in general. If possible, move your loved one’s room to the main floor of the house or at least try to keep their bedroom on the same floor as the bathroom is. This can help prevent falling down the stairs at night when wandering or searching for the bathroom. Install nightlights in the hallway leading to the bathroom in order to make it easier to navigate.
- Adapt the bathroom. Ensure proper lighting, install a seat and handrails in the shower, use a textured mat in the shower, install a raised toilet seat - there are plenty of ways to make the bathroom even safer.
- Dementia-proof the kitchen. Kitchens can be dangerous for those with memory loss. Cover the knobs on the oven with plastic protectors to make sure they can’t accidentally be turned on, put all knives and harmful kitchen utensils in a locked drawer and set the water temperature to ensure your loved one doesn’t get scalded with hot water. Always supervise your loved one when they are cooking.
- Install locks and alarms on windows and doors, secure the stairs. If you are afraid your loved one is going to wander or try to leave the home, install alarms and locks that are out of your loved one’s reach. These can help to alert you if they try to leave at night, as well as make sure they don’t have the chance to wander too far. Install gates on the stairs to prevent falls.
If you’re finding that keeping your loved one safe at home is becoming more difficult, or their memory loss is progressing rapidly, it may be time to consider a Memory Care community. Leading Memory Care communities, such as YourLife™ of Coconut Creek, are purposefully built to the needs of those with memory loss. YourLife™ of Coconut Creek has planned ahead to ensure caregivers peace of mind and safety for their loved ones. With the use of CarePredict wellness bands, not only do we know where your loved one is at all times, but we also know if their daily activities are falling below their baseline. We can connect with them at any point throughout the day, just as they can communicate with us – eliminating the need for a pull-cord system. If they need us, they can access us seamlessly. Through these wellness bands, we can ensure they are not entering rooms they shouldn’t be in or leaving the building as well, eliminating worries of wandering. For more information about our use of CarePredict wellness bands, some tips on how to keep your loved one safe at home or to discover if YourLife™ of Coconut Creek is a good fit for your loved one with memory loss, contact us. We would be happy to provide you with expert advice, support and assistance. Call us today at 954-228-6252. Inspiring Memory Care Designed for You. Defined by You. YourLife™ of Coconut Creek was created to provide the most exceptional Memory Care and uplifting lifestyle for our residents. We focus all our energy, attention and resources to creating a community that caters to each resident’s personal needs, respects their choices and honors individuality, while providing unequaled peace of mind and support for families. Because Memory Care is our sole focus, we have the unique ability to design and personally tailor plans around our residents. We understand that each resident is an individual that has their own story, specific needs and retained abilities, so we develop personally inspired care plans that value and support each person’s independence. Our team of attentive, caring YourLife™ Personal Care Specialists are on site 24 hours a day, seven days a week to provide assistance with everyday activities, gentle reminders and redirection. With YourStory, our signature programming, we create an individual experience centered around each resident. From cultural, educational and holistic health and wellness programming, outings and an array of other special events to personal care, assistance and therapies, we create days with meaning. At YourLife™ of Coconut Creek, our residents and families know that this is a community designed for you, with a lifestyle defined by you. Contact us to learn more! Call us at 954-228-6252 for more information or to schedule a personal visit today.