As dementia slowly eats away at the vibrant life of our loved ones, we have a desire to protect them and keep them safe. We can’t keep on eye on them 24/7. Therefore, it is important to make sure their identity and condition are easily identified by others through something like an id bracelet. Alzheimers bracelets allow for important information to be readily available should an individual suffering from dementia wander off and end up in a strange situation. Another way to protect our loved ones with dementia is to take a look at the home environment and adapt it to their needs.
Contact Local Agencies for Help
Many communities have an Alzheimer’s Association or Agency on Aging that can provide guidance and local resources to help with this difficult transition. They are also great resources for finding qualified health professionals such as occupational or physical therapists and geriatric care managers that can help with aging-in-place recommendations.
Look at Your Home From Their Point of View
Dementia is a cognitive disease that affects not only memories but also depth perception, coordination, and balance. As the disease progresses, simple tasks become increasingly difficult and hard to manage alone. Looking at the home with an eye for potential hazards is critical. Take time in making changes since it may take a loved one with dementia more time to adjust to their changing environment. Making many changes at once can be incredibly unsettling.
Designate a Danger Zone
Making a safe home for someone with dementia includes placing potentially hazardous products out of sight. It is common for someone with dementia to forget how to use things or what the purpose of an item is. Similar to small children, they may not realize an object such as a fireplace is hot or that a bottle containing a liquid is not meant for human consumption. To make a home safer, it is best to find a secure place that is out of sight to store potentially dangerous items like cleaning products, insecticides, paints, alcohol, power tools, and sharp objects. If it is not possible to store all of these items in one place, consider the use of childproof locks on drawers and cabinets where they are stored.
Keeping a loved one at home while they age is challenging but can be managed with some help. Be mindful of the resources available and take steps to make a safe environment one at time. It is possible for your loved one to age in place with dignity.