If your loved one has Alzheimer’s disease and you’ve decided on in-home, private care, you need to make sure you take all the proper safety precautions needed not only so she maintains a good quality of life, but that nothing unexpected happens during the times she is alone. Only you can determine if these guidelines will work as it all depends on the stage of your loved one’s Alzheimer’s disease.
Preparing the Home
When a loved one needs in-home and private care, a quick inspection will let you know if she is in a safe environment. The care provider will need room to work with your loved one without much clutter. Make every day items such as clothes, dishes, and medical supplies easily accessible.
Even if these home modifications aren't immediately needed, it is a good idea to get them ready for future use. Other ways to prepare a residence for a senior with Alzheimer’s disease, include:
- Creating plans for medical care, emergency situations and daily routines
- Making sure doorways are accessible by wheelchair (at least 34 inches wide)
- Modifying the flooring to remove trip hazards such as throw rugs, loose tiles, etc.
- Setting aside one room in the house where everyday items are accessible on lower shelves and in cabinets
- Purchasing a personal emergency response system such as Life Alert so she can call for help
- Installing window and door sensors
- Installing night lights in bedroom, hallway, and bathroom
Since this is one of the most used rooms in a home, make sure it is also one of the safest. There are many hazards in a bathroom, from slippery floors to bunched up throw rugs. Here are some ways to improve bathroom safety and prevent falls and injuries:
- Use a non-skid mat or rug on the floor
- Install grab bars in the shower and/or bathtub
- Use a raised toilet seat or install a toilet safety frame
- Apply non-skid decals to the bottom of the tub; this will prevent slips and falls.
- Clean up water spills as soon as they happen
- Install an anti-scalding device that immediately turns off the water if it gets too hot
The following precautions will help prevent fire-related accidents in a home. In-home care providers and/or family members should check to make sure everyone follows these guidelines:
- Working smoke detectors installed and routinely checked
- No smoking around oxygen tanks
- Making sure stove and burners are off in the kitchen
- Electrical cords are in good working order and out-of-the-way
- There are no overloaded sockets or circuits
- Flammable objects kept away from heaters
Flammable objects kept away from heaters