If you have an elderly relative with Alzheimer’s moving into your home, there are certain steps that need to be taken beforehand to ensure that each room is safe, avoiding any accidents or dangerous situations.
Your loved one’s abilities may change over time depending on the stage of the disease and it’s important to reevaluate your efforts on a regular basis to make sure that everything is still safe.
Here is a simple check list of 5 ways to make sure your home is a better environment for an Alzheimer’s patient:
1. Lock hazardous areas
Some patients with Alzheimer’s tend to wander, so it’s important to lock the doors opening to dangerous areas, like the garage, basement or back porch. Install the locks either high or low on exterior doors to make it more difficult for your loved one to exit unknowingly.
2. Use child-proof locks and doorknob covers
You may want to purchase child-proof locks and doorknob covers to protect your relative from getting into cupboards or closets with dangerous items like cleaning products, knives, medications or appliances. Outlet covers are also handy, as they can prevent accidental electrocution. Installing a hidden gas valve or circuit breaker on the stove is also a good idea to prevent your relative from using it. Alternatively you can try removing the knobs from the burner.
3. Make sure every room is free of clutter
Doing so will avoid your loved one from tripping or falling and possibly hurting themselves. Make sure area rugs are flush with the floor to prevent tripping, and keep electrical cords secured out of the way. Chairs should be sturdy and unable to tip over, and floor coverings should be used in slippery areas.
4. Invest in a medical alarm device from Bay Alarm Medical
In the event of an emergency, your relative can use the 24/7 monitored medical alert button to contact 911, a relative or a neighbor for help if he or she should ever fall or become injured in your home.
5. Install a walk-in shower or set up grab bars
To make bathing easier for your loved one, install a walk-in shower and/or grab bars. Grab bars near the toilet can also ensure that your relative can sit down and get up from the toilet easily. Non-skid mats in the tub and on the bathroom tiles can also prevent falls when water is present.
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