Making Your Home Dementia-Safe

dementiaProviding a comfortable, soothing home environment for those with Alzheimer’s or another form of dementia is key to their emotional wellbeing, but equally important is ensuring the person will be safe from harm in the home. Changes in the brain from dementia can cause even the most innocuous items, such as dark-colored rugs, to appear ominous, like a hole that could swallow the person up.

Nightingale Homecare can help families rethink the layout of the home from the perspective of someone with Alzheimer’s or dementia, and make the necessary adjustments for both perceived and real safety threats. For example:

  1. A person with dementia may confuse common objects – such as thinking a sharp knife is actually a comb. It’s important to place all hazardous items out of reach and/or locked away to prevent accidents.
  2. People with dementia are often agitated by intricate patterns, which can give the illusion of unwanted or confusing situations – such as bugs or snakes moving across a patterned carpet, tablecloth or wallpaper. Consider calmer prints or paint colors for the senior’s home.
  3. Interior door locks should be removed or rendered unusable so a person can’t accidentally lock himself into a room.
  4. Determine if any house plants are poisonous, and find them another home safe from pets, children and seniors with cognitive impairments.
  5. As with any older adult, seniors with dementia are at risk from tripping hazards such as cords and other obstacles in walking paths, low furniture, and throw rugs. A full safety assessment should be performed both in and around the home, including ensuring adequate lighting, hand rails, bath/shower safety equipment, etc. are in place.

Although it may seem overwhelming to proactively address any potential hazards, in the long run, it’s well worth it to know that your loved one with Alzheimer’s or dementia is safe. And you don’t have to figure it all out alone! Nightingale Homecare of Scottsdale can partner with you and your family to help in a variety of ways, based on your senior loved one’s individual needs:

  • Perform an in-home assessment to determine the best level of care needed and to address any potential safety issues
  • Provide specialized hands-on care for those with dementia through our Connections dementia care program, with our uniquely certified Alzheimer’s Whisperers®
  • Assist with transportation and accompaniment to medical appointments and other outings
  • Run errands such as picking up prescriptions and groceries
  • Help with housework, laundry, meal preparation, pet and plant care, companionship, and so much more

To talk with us one on one about how we can help your loved one live a safer and more fulfilling life at home, contact us at (602) 504-1555. We’ll be happy to answer all of your questions and arrange for a free in-home consultation at your convenience.