Feeling safe at home is essential for everyone, but especially for your senior with dementia. Sometimes a smaller change is something that can make a big difference.
Secure Anything that Might Be Too Sharp.
Sharp objects are a huge problem for someone with dementia. In the past, your elderly family member may have been more aware of how to handle sharp objects like knives and scissors. But as her cognitive skills change, she may not be as aware of the safety concerns as she should be. That’s when it’s time to secure anything sharp so that it’s not accessible. An upper cabinet with a child-safety lock can be convenient enough for you but safe for her.
Lock up Anything that Shouldn’t Be Ingested.
Just as with sharp items, your senior may not be as aware of things she shouldn’t be ingesting. Some cleaning liquids come in appealing colors that are intriguing and that can make them dangerous, even if they’re in their original containers. Likewise, fake fruits and vegetables might look a little more appealing than they should. Removing these types of items can keep your senior from accidentally eating them.
Remove Locks on Interior Doors.
Interior door locks can be more of a hindrance than a help if your senior has dementia. It’s way too possible that she could lock herself into, or even out of, a room in the house. You might not realize how easy it could be for your elderly family member to “forget” how to operate the lock in order to let herself out of a room. It’s much safer to remove or to deactivate the locks so that they don’t present a hazard.
Rethink Dark Colors and Patterns.
Your senior’s mind can play tricks on her, especially when it’s not operating in the same way that it used to operate. Dark throw rugs create areas on the floor that look like they could be a hole. With smaller rugs, you might see your senior walk around them, but larger rugs could create a bigger space that she finds scary. Busy patterns can have a similar effect, especially on the floor.
Don’t try to find every safety hazard all at once. That will leave you running in circles. Try to solve the big problems first and then you can narrow down the list. Senior care providers can help you to spot the gaps in your safety plan and get those problems solved in the safest way possible.