How Do You Keep Someone with Dementia Safe?
Ultimately, the safest option for any dementia patient, but particularly for anyone who is in the later stages of dementia, is a memory care home like The Moments. The Moments Memory Care is specifically designed architecturally to keep our residents with dementia safe, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. When your loved one lives at The Moments, you will not worry about their safety. If you are ready to discuss the wonderful benefits of memory care for your loved one, contact us at The Moments today. Caring for a loved one with dementia is rewarding while also proving to be a stressful undertaking. If you are the caregiver for someone with dementia, it is imperative that you maintain their safety at all times. One of the many adjustments you’ll need to make to help your loved one is to your home. We have compiled a checklist to help you make sure your home is as safe as possible.
We also recognize that there comes a time for many families when it is no longer safe or feasible to care for your loved one at home and exploring long-term memory care locations becomes a priority.
While many families feel guilty about this decision, a memory care home is often the best – and safest – choice for a family member who is in the later stages of dementia. Many senior living or memory care communities available to families today are surprisingly not their grandparents’ nursing home. Much attention has gone into the architecture, design and quality of care.
Safety for Dementia Patients
Those who have been diagnosed with dementia quite literally see the world in a new way. And so will their caregiver. If at all possible, it is best to make any major changes to your home before your loved one moves in. Any adjustments can be tough for someone with dementia to adapt to. Even small changes can unsettle them.
In order to keep your loved one out of harm’s way, it’s important to follow these safety tips for dementia patients at home. Consider using this as a checklist to help you prepare.
Take a Tour of Your Own Home
The first step is to take a tour of your own home and look at it from the point of view of someone with dementia. Dementia affects cognitive abilities, depth perception, balance, coordination, and strength – not just memory. People with dementia have trouble understanding instructions, interpreting the dangers around them, and making safe decisions. Even if your loved one is in the early stages of dementia, it is best to prepare as early as possible.
Bring in an Expert
If you feel like you could use some help, contact the Alzheimer’s Association. The AA offers plenty of local resources to help recommend occupational or physical therapists or other care specialists who can assist you and give you tips to ready your home for your loved one.
Check Your Yard
- A fenced-in yard is ideal for those with dementia to enjoy time outdoors safely
- Tape off the edges of steps with neon, glow-in-the-dark tape
- Fix any cracked pavement or uneven bricks
- Clear the walkway of toys, lawn ornaments, and any other tripping hazards
- Add well-placed, bright, outdoor lights. Spotty lighting can create shadows, which can actually instill fear in many dementia patients.
Check the Bathroom
- Consider removing the locks from all bathroom doors so your loved one can’t lock you out or lock themselves in
- Use large non-skid bath mats not just in the tub, but on tile or linoleum floors, too
- Install grab bars
- Protect outlets in case they get wet
- Install temperature-controlled water faucets that can’t scald your loved one (dementia can dull sensitivity to temperature)
- Put medicines in a lockbox or out of reach, and remove cleaning supplies and razors
- Consider a raised toilet seat or a shower chair, if necessary
Check the Kitchen
- Keep microwaves and toasters unplugged
- Again, consider automatic temperature-controlled faucets.
- Store knives, any other sharp kitchen tools, and electric appliances in a cabinet with a childproof lock
- Make sure your loved one’s favorite foods and snacks are easy for them to reach. You don’t want them climbing on step stools or up on counters and putting themselves in harm’s way.
- You might want to consider making sure you have a lock on your door, and taking the lock off your loved one’s door to avoid them locking you out
- Consider using an audio monitor between your bedroom and your loved one’s room in case they need you and so you will hear if they wander through the night
- Keep any personally or potentially dangerous items out of your loved one’s reach
If You Have a Den or Home Office:
- Avoid wheeled or swivel chairs
- Anchor any bookshelves and TVs to the walls
Additional Safety Measures for Dementia Patients
In addition to the house-proofing tips we suggested earlier, there are additional safety measures for dementia patients you can take around your home in order to keep your loved one safe.
Assess on a Regular Basis
Dementia is volatile, and your loved one’s condition can change regularly. Keep an eye on your loved one’s abilities, which may disappear suddenly. This means you might need to change safety features around your home every once in a while, too.
Designate a Danger Zone
Oftentimes, people with dementia forget what things are for and how to use them correctly. It is safest to store the most hazardous products somewhere your loved one can’t access them. Designate a “danger zone” with those products in your garage, shed, attic, or even a large cabinet, and make sure it is inaccessible for your family member. These items can include:
- Cleaning products
- Paint, turpentines, and stains
- Sharp knives, scissors, box cutters, and any other kind of blade
- Tobacco products
- Hand and power tools
Secure Household Items with Childproof Locks
Childproof locks aren’t just for children, You can use them on drawers and cabinets that contain unsafe items like:
- Electric appliances including food processors, blenders, coffee makers, toasters, space heaters, dryers, and curling irons
- Kitchen knives
- Laundry pods
- Cleaning supplies
People with dementia are at an increased risk of falling for a variety of reasons. You can help mitigate this risk by clearly marking stairs in your home and getting furniture that is designed to keep your loved one safe, like bed rails or a recliner that helps them stand up and sit down.
Utilize the Latest Safety Technology
New products are being designed all the time to help dementia patients and their caregivers. You can try seat cushions, floor mats, and bed pads that are wired to alert you when someone gets up. A motion-sensor alarm in your family member’s bedroom lets you know if they leave the room in the middle of the night. You can also consider a video monitor so you can make sure they are safe at all times.
Check the Pantry
- Make sure to regularly check your pantry and fridge for out-of-date items. People with dementia might eat spoiled food.
- Keep certain foods out of sight
- Make sure to take your pet’s food bowl away as soon as they are done eating
Additional Safety Items
- Make sure car keys are never within your loved one’s reach if they aren’t permitted to drive
- Keep firearms in a gun safe, or off the property entirely
Alternative Options Instead of Dementia Home Care
If this all sounds daunting or overwhelming to handle all on your own, we understand. Caring for a loved one is an honorable decision, but there is no shame in finding help, either. According to the 2019 Alzheimer’s Disease Facts and Figures report, 60% of dementia caregivers report high or very high stress levels associated with the care of a family member. Forty percent even report experiencing clinical depression.
If you are taking care of a family member with dementia, you are not alone. We know it is not easy. That’s where memory care comes in. You can’t take care of a loved one without taking care of yourself first. The loving, caring professionals at The Moments are trained and certified specifically to care for those with dementia.
The sole reason we exist, here at The Moments, is to give the best possible care to those who are living with Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia. By extension, that means to their caregivers and families, as well. There are many benefits to seeking out the right memory care home for your loved one.
These days, memory care homes like The Moments offer the highest levels of hospitality and care. Memory care homes are built especially for their reason: to care for our beloved senior citizens who have dementia.
At The Moments, every detail was designed with the comfort and safety of our residents in mind. From our heated floors, to our therapy kitchens, electronic security system, and caring staff, there is no better home for someone with dementia than The Moments Memory Care.
Memory Care at The Moments
Ultimately, the safest option for any dementia patient, but particularly for anyone who is in the later stages of dementia, is a memory care home like The Moments. The Moments Memory Care is specifically designed architecturally to keep our residents with dementia safe, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. When your loved one lives at The Moments, you will not worry about their safety. If you are ready to discuss the wonderful benefits of memory care for your loved one, contact us at The Moments today.
TAKE A TOUR
Our resident specialist will give you a private tour of The Moments Memory Care Community and answer any questions you may have.
Our HVAC system was uniquely designed to deliver six complete air changes per hour which means clean air, safer air, throughout the building. Our resident rooms have individual fresh air and filtration above the windows, both designed to increase safety and sanitation levels.
Our normal protocol includes rigorous daily disinfecting of resident rooms and common areas. During every shift, staff disinfects doors, handrails and other common areas.
Meals have shifted from community gatherings to small group, socially distanced meals that are served in shifts, tables and chairs are sanitized after each seating.
ALL residents and staff are tested bi-weekly, at a minimum and take temperature checks are conducted daily of all residents.
Anybody – staff, caregivers, residents, vendors – who enters The Moments will pass through the ENTRY where Far-UVC lighting will inactivate surface-level viruses and bacteria
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