Even if your home seems relatively safe, you might need to make a few changes if you’re going to have a senior loved one with Alzheimer’s living with you. As this disorder progresses, certain products and items can become very dangerous, and you need to be absolutely sure there are no threats in your home. Here’s a look at five steps caregivers can take to make their homes safer for older adults who have been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s.
1. Install a Monitoring System
No matter what steps you take to make your home as safe and secure as possible, an accident can still take place at any moment. To keep an eye on your loved one at all times, you should install some type of monitoring system. Wireless cameras are easy to install, but some families feel like they can be too invasive. If you’re uncomfortable installing cameras inside your home, you might want to use audio baby monitors.
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2. Add Childproof Locks to the Cabinets
When it comes to securing dangerous household items like scissors and knives, you have a few different options to choose from. For most families, installing childproof locks on the cabinets is the quickest and most affordable option. Those locks may be needed when Alzheimer’s has progressed to the point where your loved one no longer knows how to safely use those items. Fortunately, childproof cabinet locks can usually be installed with nothing more than a screwdriver and the included screws or some all-purpose construction adhesive.
3. Hide Medications and Cleaning Products
While childproof locks can be very effective, they aren’t going to stop your loved one if he or she really wants to get into a cabinet, which is why medications, toxic cleaning products, and other extremely dangerous items need to be hidden in a closet or locked in an unused room. Seniors with Alzheimer’s often mistake cleaning products and pills for actual food, and many accidental poisonings take place every year. If you have a stronger lock for a single cabinet, you can keep all those items in one location.
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4. Eliminate Clutter
There are a few different reasons your home should be clutter free if you’re caring for a senior with Alzheimer’s. In addition to posing potential tripping hazards, clutter can also be overwhelming. Your loved one might become agitated or aggressive when he or she notices piles of clothes on the floor or dirty dishes in the sink. You don’t need to keep your home immaculate, but you should try to remove clutter as often as possible.
5. Remove Unnecessary Door Locks
Seniors with Alzheimer’s should never be left alone in rooms they can lock themselves in. Your loved one might turn the lock one moment and then completely forget how to use the door the next, or he or she could get hurt in the room and have no way to get out. At the very least, there shouldn’t be locks on their bedroom or bathroom doors.
Every senior living with Alzheimer’s deserves high-quality Alzheimer’s care. Scottsdale families can rely on the caregivers at Home Care Assistance to keep their loved ones safe while managing the symptoms of the disease. Using our Cognitive Therapeutics Method, our caregivers help seniors regain a sense of pride and accomplishment while promoting cognitive health. Trust Home Care Assistance to provide high-quality compassionate, professional care for your loved one. If your loved one needs help with the challenges of aging, call one of our compassionate Care Managers today at (480) 771-2710.