Making Your Home Safe When You Have Alzheimer

After the diagnosis is made for Alzheimer’s most individuals stay in their home during the first, or sometimes called mild stage of the disease, some even into the moderate stage too. There are many things you can do to make your home safe and comfortable during this time period. Studies have shown that the physical environment of the home such as color scheme, noise level and lighting can have a big impact on the behavior of the individual with Alzheimer’s disease. You can make changes in the environment to address these environmental issues and make the person who has Alzheimer’s more comfortable and safe while living at home.

There are many ways to help jog the memory of the person who has Alzheimer’s within the home environment that can assist the individual when doing daily tasks. Making these adjustments within the home environment will allow the person to stay in the home longer and help to make the home environment more “Alzheimer friendly”.

Below are a few suggestions of changes that can be implemented in the home environment:

During mealtimes it is more conducive to have lower levels of light which studies show can actually improve the eating habits of individuals with Alzheimer’s.

Go through the rooms and de-clutter, removing any unnecessary furniture and making sure that walking areas are clear of clutter.

A consistent background noise such as the individual’s favorite music or even a recording of sounds of nature can be soothing to the person.

Make sure that there are objects in each room of the home that will trigger memories for the individual such as photographs, or family/work mementoes. Do not change or upgrade furniture, make sure that all things remain familiar.

Privacy is essential, even if the person has to be removed from the home and placed in a residential facility – make sure that the individual is still able to have privacy and to be able to personalize his/her living space.

In the mild or early stage of Alzheimer’s you can take steps like using appliances that are set to automatically shut off by using timers or that there is an alarm that can sound if an appliance like a stove is left on. Gas appliances should be checked for gas leaks because someone with Alzheimer’s may not notice a gas leak. Make sure that there are smoke and carbon monoxide detectors in appropriate areas of the home. Also, make sure there are fire extinguishers located in the basement, kitchen, on every level of the home, and near where the bedrooms are. There should be clearly written instructions for the use of these safety devices.

In the moderate and in the last stage of Alzheimer’s it is important for safety reasons to remove all poisons, and prescription medications from the reach of the Alzheimer’s patient to avoid accidental ingestion and poisoning.

One huge issue for most Alzheimer’s patients is the day that it is no longer safe for them to drive themselves. When they are not able to drive at proper speeds or become lost in familiar areas while driving; then it is time to stop driving. Family members can enlist the help of a doctor when convincing the person with Alzheimer’s that it is time to stop driving.

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