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In Home Dangers for those Living with Alzheimer’s

According to the Alzheimer’s Association, approximately 5 million Americans are currently living with Alzheimer’s, and other forms of dementia. In reality, the number is likely much higher, as not everyone talks with their medical professionals or even recognizes their gradual decline in cognitive ability and increasing memory loss.

Individuals’ with Alzheimer’s are at a higher risk of dangers around the home, dangers that pose minimal threats to those without Alzheimer’s. Here is a list of common threats and how you can help to avoid them.

Kitchens are perhaps the most dangerous room in the house. There are knives and other utensils that can cause serious harm, not to mention the stove, microwave and other appliances that can lead to burns and an increased risk of fire. The Alzheimer’s Association advised that caregivers should invest in appliances that are able to turn themselves off independently. They also recommend storing sharp utensils in locked drawers or high-up cupboards and that people with Alzheimer’s should be kept away from the faucet and sink if possible, due to the risk of burns from hot water. In short, if an individual living with Alzheimer’s can be discouraged from entering the kitchen, their risk of injury will decrease.

Falling Senior

Falling due to worsening balance is a common threat of aging. Unfortunately, people with Alzheimer’s are particularly vulnerable to falls that can lead to serious injury. Hazards that can lead to falls include loose rugs, piles of clutter, too much furniture, stairways without hand rails and the lack for grab-bars in bathrooms. Fortunately, removing these hazards can be relatively easy. Caregivers are encouraged to keep walkways clear at all times, and that throw rugs and loose carpets are eliminated. Non-slip mats should be added in the kitchen and bathrooms and secure hand rails should be installed on staircases and grab-bars added in all bathrooms.

Medications pose a threat to those with Alzheimer’s, as they can become confused taking the wrong dosage or medications that they have not been prescribed. Caregivers are encouraged to keep all medications well organized, stored in a locked area and that any old medications that are no longer needed, be thrown away.

Weapons can pose a particular threat to both Alzheimer’s patients and caregivers. Patients can easily become confused and mishandle the weapons, putting themselves and others in serious danger. While it may seem obvious, it’s imperative for all weapons to be stored properly with trigger locks, in a secured area or gun safe.

Becoming lost and confused about their whereabouts is common for those with Alzheimer’s. Typically those suffering from this disease are unable to contact family or friends or even ask for help should they become lost or disoriented. That’s why it is important for caregivers to keep doors locked at all times, particularly at night and to install alarm systems that notify them if and when a door is opened.
If in home care caregiving for those suffering from Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia becomes unrealistic, we suggest investigating Assisted Living and Memory Care Facilities in greater Jacksonville.

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