Caring for an aging parent who has Alzheimer’s can be challenging, but your life can be much easier if you make a few changes around your home. With a little bit of foresight and a few household renovations, you can drastically reduce your parent’s risk of an accident. Here are five tips you can use to make your home a much safer place for a loved one with Alzheimer’s.
1. Start with a Monitoring System
One of the first upgrades you should consider is a monitoring system. No matter how safe your home happens to be, a mishap can still occur at any moment. A monitoring system allows you to keep an eye on your parent and help if he or she is confused or in danger. Wireless monitoring systems are extremely easy to install, and they can usually be controlled through a smartphone, tablet, or computer.
There are a variety of age-related health conditions that can make it more challenging for seniors to live independently. However, many of the challenges they face can be easier to address if their families opt for professional in-home care. You can rely on expertly trained caregivers to keep your loved one safe and comfortable while aging in place.
2. Remove Potential Triggers
Most seniors with Alzheimer’s become overwhelmed if there are too many distractions, which could result in aggression. As a general rule, you should make sure your house is as quiet and comfortable as possible before your parent moves in. Objects such as mirrors and wind chimes could trigger unwanted behaviors or simply make your loved one agitated. You might also need to install thick curtains that block out shadows and bright lights.
3. Box Up Unnecessary Clutter
Your parent will most likely only need minimal oversight during the initial stages of this disorder, but there may come a time when everyday objects become confusing. While your house doesn’t need to be completely barren, you should remove any items your loved one might try to swallow, including poisonous household plants, plastic fruit, and small objects such as magnets. Another common symptom of Alzheimer’s is pacing, and you should keep the floors free of clutter so your loved one doesn’t trip and get hurt.
4. Remove Bedroom & Bathroom Locks
You must give up some of your privacy if you’re going to be caring for someone with Alzheimer’s. While the locks on your front and back doors can remain intact, you should remove all the locks on your bedroom and bathroom doors. Your parent could get hurt in those rooms, and you need to be able to help as quickly as possible. If you don’t want to remove the locks entirely, install safety locks that can be opened from either side of a door.
One of the most challenging tasks of helping an elderly relative age in place safely and comfortably is researching agencies that provide elderly home care. University Park families can turn to Home Care Assistance for reliable, high-quality in-home care for aging adults. We offer 24-hour live-in care for seniors who require extensive assistance, and we also offer respite care for family caregivers who need a break from their caregiving duties.
5. Lock Up Dangerous Household Products
Installing childproof cabinet locks can greatly reduce your parent’s risk of a dangerous household accident. Some of these locks can be installed in a matter of minutes with nothing more than a few screws or some all-purpose adhesive. For extremely dangerous items like firearms and toxic chemicals, you should invest in a sturdy safe that can be bolted into the floor or hidden away in a closet.
Every senior living with Alzheimer’s deserves high-quality Alzheimer’s care. University Park families can rely on the caregivers at Home Care Assistance to keep their loved ones safe while managing the symptoms of the disease. Using our Cognitive Therapeutics Method, our caregivers help seniors regain a sense of pride and accomplishment while promoting cognitive health. Reach out to one of our Care Managers today at (214) 363-3400 to schedule a free in-home consultation.