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In-Home Threats for those Living with Alzheimer’s and Dementia

People with Alzheimer’s and other forms of Dementia experience a gradual yet steady decline in cognitive ability, social awareness, overall memory, safety and understanding of everyday concepts. Unfortunately, individuals with Alzheimer’s and Dementia are at a much higher risk of falling victim to certain dangers around the home. Listed below are some of these threats, and steps that caregivers can take to minimize risk, and increase in-home safety.

Falling:

Deteriorating balance is a consequence of getting older, however those with Alzheimer’s are particularly vulnerable to falls that can lead to serious injury. Common hazards that can lead to falls include – bathrooms without grab bars, poor lighting, loose rugs, cluttered rooms and hallways, and stairways without hand rails. Thankfully, removing these hazards is relatively simple. Caregivers and family members are encouraged to make a detailed inspection of the household to identify and remedy any of these or other potential falling or tripping hazards.senior falling

Kitchen Hazards:

The kitchen is perhaps the most dangerous room in the house for those living with Alzheimer’s or Dementia. There are knives and other sharp utensils that can cause serious harm, not to mention slippery wet floors, the stove, microwave and other appliances that can lead to burns. People experiencing memory loss can easily become careless and increase their risk injury. Keeping your loved one safe in the kitchen is a task that caregivers and family members need to take very seriously.

Install appliances that have an auto shut-off feature, and reset the hot water tank to a safe temperature to prevent scalding.  Store all sharp utensils in areas that can be locked or are not easily accessible. Unhealthy or medically restricted foods and caustic cleaning supplies should be removed as well as easily dropped or broken glassware.

Becoming Lost:

Those with Alzheimer’s and other forms of memory loss can easily become confused about their whereabouts. They may attempt to leave home, putting themselves in the real danger of becoming lost.

That’s why it is important for caregivers to ensure that doors remain locked at all times – particularly at nighttime when others are asleep. The Alzheimer’s Association suggested putting door locks up high and installing motion alarms.

Medications:

Take steps to ensure that medications are taken safely. Store all medications in a locked drawer or cabinet, use a pill box organizer or keep a daily list and check off each medication as it is taken.

Be Prepared for Emergencies:

Keep a list of emergency phone numbers for local police and fire departments, hospitals and poison control helplines. Have working fire extinguishers, smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors.

 

See Assisted Living and Memory Care Facilities in Jacksonville, Orange Park, Ponte Vedra and St. Augustine

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