Caring for an aging parent with Alzheimer’s can offer many challenges for the family caregiver. Safety is an important part of protecting an aging parents from harm and caregivers face the ongoing challenge of adapting to each change in behavior during the course of Alzheimer’s Disease.
The National Institute on Aging (NIA) at the National Institute on Health (NIH) maintains a comprehensive library on home safety and other adaptations that family caregivers can make to help ensure that their loved one remains secure in their own home. Here are a few tips that caregivers can follow to ensure that their loved one’s home remains safe and secure:
Consider the habits and mannerisms of your loved one. If wandering is a concern, make certain that doors and windows are secure. Also, provide proper identification inside shoes or on an alert-style necklace or bracelet. Remember to keep purses, wallets, and car keys out of plain view so that signs of departure aren’t as noticeable.
Take regular tours of your home and keep safety in mind while evaluating potential problems or hazardous situations.
2. Adapt the environment to fit the person living with Alzheimer’s
It’s easier and more effective to make changes to your home rather than changing the behavior of your loved one. If wandering is a concern, consider disguising critical doors with a curtain or piece of furniture.
3. Continue to assess home safety on a regular basis
A regular tour of your home from your loved one’s ever-changing perspective may open your eyes to possible dangers such as sharp knives, trip hazards or common household chemicals and cleansers.
For additional information on home safety and other aspects of Alzheimer’s Disease, please check out the National Institute on Aging.