Does someone you love suffer from dementia? Living with dementia presents risks and hazards that can compromise autonomy over time. Before looking at assisted living or residential care, consider ways to make the home safer for dementia; these simple modifications could preserve independence and foster well-being without leaving the home.
Make your home a safer place for loved ones living with dementia:
Enlist Some Help
It is important to reach out for assistance when helping individuals living with dementia; this supportive care can help with activities of daily living (ADLs), daily tasks, hygiene, and retaining autonomy and independence. Talk more with an in-home care provider to determine how to move forward and secure services.
Keep Things Simple
Make it easy on your loved one and leave a note; remind them about turning off burners or not adjusting the heat. De-clutter the home to make it possible for them to see visual prompts that you leave around, as well as making it easier to maintain. Try to keep things as effortless as possible.
Highlight Steps or Stairs
Don’t run the risk of a nasty fall; highlight steps or stairs with reflective tape or footlights to prevent a problem. This applies to any senior’s home, including those living with the symptoms of dementia.
Give the home environment a thorough assessment in terms of lighting. Replace bulbs, reconfigure switches, and improve the overall lighting throughout the home. Pay special attention to stairs, walkways, and spots that could be inherently hazardous, like the slick surfaces of a dimly-lit bathroom. Light it up.
Trouble-Shoot the Home
Use a skeptical eye when trouble-shooting hazards around the home of someone with dementia. Look for problems and issues from their perspective. Watch for rough edges around flooring, loose carpets, fall hazards, and even small pets, which could cause challenging situations for someone with dementia symptoms.
Don’t Forget the Outdoors
When giving the home a good look, don’t forget about the outside. The same principles apply here- improve the lighting, mark steps, and look for elements that could present a problem for a senior, particularly, a senior with dementia.
Stow Potential Dangers
It makes sense to tuck away items that could pose a threat to the senior or someone around them, such as firearms, shears, chemicals, or anything that could be deemed dangerous. Naturally these items still belong to the senior but for the sake of safety and autonomy, stash these away under lock and key.
Don’t forget: your loved one may feel anxiety or confusion which can make them contrary or combative. Do your best to alleviate stress by engaging calmly and reducing chaos around your senior.
Make the home safer for a senior with dementia by asking for help; consider an in-home healthcare group, Caring Healthcare, in Columbia, SC. When seeking in-home assistance and care, look for a company with an established reputation and expertise in working with consumers with dementia. They will have the insight and experience to create a recuperative home environment that nurtures your loved one’s needs.