Alzheimer’s disease is a progressive and irreversible brain disease that destroys thinking skills and memory over time, and tends to make even simple tasks difficult. Symptoms of Alzheimer’s usually start to appear around or after age 60.
Though there’s no cure for Alzheimer’s, researchers have been able to learn plenty about providing different types of elder care for people with complex care needs like Alzheimer’s, dementia and memory loss, especially when it comes to the environment that patients live in.
Whether you’re a caring companion, care home worker or simply a friend or family member that wants to help out, there are several ways you can make a home a more safe and comfortable environment for a patient with Alzheimer’s.
The key thing for every care home worker or caregiver to remember is that Alzheimer’s affects problem-solving skills and judgement, which can lead to an increased risk of injury even around a patient’s own home.
There are four basic things that a care home worker should see to in order to create the safest environment possible:
- Prevent the Patient from Falling
Falls can cause severe injury in seniors, and seniors with Alzheimer’s may have more trouble judging their own mobility. Make sure the chances to fall are minimized. Cut down on loose area rugs and make sure electronics cords and clutter are kept out of walkways or gotten rid of altogether. Installing handrails and grab bars is a great way to help your patient get around on their own.
- Install Locks
Care home workers should put locks on anything that might be dangerous to their patients, like alcohol, cleaning substances, medicine, guns and tools. This will keep the patient from getting into something that could hurt them.
- Lower the Water Temperature
Make sure to lower the thermostat on the patient’s hot water heater so they don’t get burned in the shower or bath.
- Reduce Fire Hazards
Be sure to keep lighters and matches out of reach or in locked cabinets, and only let a patient who smokes do so with supervision. The house should also be equipped with working smoke alarms and a fire extinguisher.
Checking these four things will help your patient stay safe in their environment.
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