Wednesday Workshop – Home Safety Tips for Dementia

Wednesday Workshop – Home Safety Tips for Dementia

Wednesday Workshop – Home Safety Tips for Dementia

Hello and welcome to Wednesday Workshop. Dementia affects each person differently. Symptoms such as confusion, memory loss and disorientation are common, while limited mobility and coordination may affect safety. It is important that family, friends and health professionals help the person with dementia to feel and be as secure as possible.

Safety inside the home for people with dementia

The best living environment for a person with dementia is one that helps them to be as happy and independent as possible. Familiarity with environment and routines are important for a person with dementia. The home environment should help them know where they are and help them find where they want to go. Changes in the environment may add to confusion and disorientation.

Some tips for making the home a safe environment for the person with dementia include:

  • Arrange furniture simply and consistently and keep the environment uncluttered.
  • Remove loose rugs and seal carpet edges that may be safety hazards.
  • Install night-lights in the hallways and around the toilet to help a person find their way to the bathroom at night.
  • Dispose of, or safely store, all old medications and hazardous materials.
  • Install safety switches, which are now recommended, in homes.
  • Try to only use appliances with automatic cut-off mechanisms.
  • Replace more dangerous forms of heating, such as bar radiators, with safer heating options, such as column heaters.
  • Check appliances like heaters and toasters to make sure they do not present any safety hazards.
  • Replace long electrical cords on appliances with coiled or retractable cords.
  • Consider thermostats to control the temperature of water that comes out of the hot water taps.
  • Check that smoke detectors are fully functional – a person with dementia may need someone else to check the battery and make sure the alarm is loud enough.

Home safety checklist

It may be useful to go through the house, room by room, to check for any safety hazards. The following checklist can assist you to remove hazards and make the home a safer environment.

Access to the home

Safety checkpoints include:

  • steps
  • paths

Around the house

Safety checkpoints include:

  • arrangement of the house – not cluttered
  • lighting – adequate
  • floor coverings – non-slip
  • doors, windows and heating

Living area

Safety checkpoints include:

  • chair heights
  • protruding furniture

Kitchen

Safety checkpoints include:

  • floor
  • flammable materials
  • taps
  • electrical and gas equipment
  • kettle
  • poisons – storage
  • cupboards
  • drainage in floor
  • electrical connections – check they are away from possible contact with water or heating sources

Bathroom

Safety checkpoints include:

  • floor – how slippery
  • hot water thermostat control
  • poisons – storage
  • toilet height
  • toilet paper – visibility

Laundry

Safety checkpoints include:

  • poisons – storage
  • drainage in floor
  • electrical connections – check they are away from possible contact with water

Bedroom

Safety checkpoints include:

  • bed height
  • chair in bedroom for dressing

Wandering

As well as making the home safer, it is important to make sure the person with dementia is as safe as possible if they go outside the home. Safety checkpoints include:

  • identification bracelet
  • identification and emergency contact number in wallet
  • bell – on door, window and gate

To learn more or to speak with us here at the Alzheimer’s Care Resource Center

Feel free to call us at (877) 760-9199 or email us below. Thanks for watching today’s Wednesday Workshop and we’ll see you again next week!

Source: https://www.betterhealth.vic.gov.au/health/conditionsandtreatments/dementia-safety-issues

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