Dementia can cause changes in the brain and body that may affect safety. Some of these changes can include getting lost in one’s own neighborhood, forgetting how to use household appliances, and having trouble with balance. If you are a caregiver for a loved one with dementia, follow these home safety tips.
Routinely Evaluate Home Safety
Dementia is a progressive disease. It is important to regularly consider your loved one’s changing abilities and evaluate your home safety accordingly. Check each area of the home for potential hazards and make necessary changes. For example, if your loved one begins to have difficulty using the shower you may consider installing grab bars and purchasing a shower seat.
Be Prepared for Emergencies
Keep a list of emergency phone numbers on the refrigerator and stored in your cell phone. Include the police, fire department, your loved one’s health care providers, and any other numbers you may need quickly. Also, make sure you have a working fire extinguisher and everyone who lives in the home knows where it is located and how it operates.
Home Safety Considerations
- Consider hazards that may be in the kitchen. Prevent access to potentially dangerous appliances. Safety knobs can be installed on the stove and other appliances.
- Bathrooms often have potentially hazardous conditions. You can install non-slip strips on slippery areas. A rubber faucet cover can be installed in the bathtub to help prevent serious injury in the event of a fall.
- A person suffering from dementia may wander out of the house. To help prevent this, consider installing additional locks on the doors. Locks can be installed out of the direct line of sight, either high or low on the door.
Understand the Nature of Your Loved One’s Dementia
Dementia “describes a group of symptoms affecting memory, thinking and social abilities severely enough to interfere with daily functioning.” Talk to your loved one’s caregivers about their condition and the prognosis moving forward. Learn about what to expect.
The more you know about your loved one’s dementia, the better equipped you will be to assess your home environment and make necessary safety changes.
At Elder Law Group PLLC we know that making arrangements for the eventuality of aging, Long-Term Care, and mental or physical incapacity can be very stressful and emotional. We strive to remove some of the burden from you and your family by helping you create an Estate Plan that addresses your needs in detail.
Contact us or call (509) 468-0551 (Spokane office), or (509) 579-0206 (Tri-Cities office) to learn more about Estate Planning or other legal needs of seniors, the disabled, or vulnerable adults and their families.