Make Your Home Safe For A Loved One With Alzheimer's Disease

If you live with an elderly family member who has Alzheimer's disease, you might be concerned about his or her safety around the house. There are a variety of mobility aids that you can purchase to help your loved one move about your home safely. Check out the following tips to help you turn your house into a safe space for your aging loved one.

Get Rid of Clutter

Cluttered homes aren't safe for people with Alzheimer's for several reasons. First, items that are on the floor could become a tripping hazard. This is especially true if your loved one has started having trouble walking — it's common for people with Alzheimer's disease to require the use of a walker or shuffle their feet when they walk. Additionally, unnecessary clutter can become confusing as your loved one's disease progresses. It might make it difficult for your loved one to find the bathroom, kitchen, or bedroom on his or her own if the clutter becomes distracting.

General Safety Precautions

Normal tasks and situations can become dangerous to someone who has Alzheimer's disease. For example, you shouldn't allow your loved one to cook unsupervised. Unfortunately, there will be times when your loved one is unsupervised, so you need to prepare your home for his or her safety.

  • Install nightlights throughout your house. It's common for people with Alzheimer's disease to keep odd sleeping schedules, and you want your loved one to be able to see clearly if he or she wakes in the middle of the night.
  • Install child-proof locks on doors, cabinets, and drawers. Even drawers that don't contain anything that you'd consider dangerous need to be secured. People with Alzheimer's tend to eat small objects by accident.
  • Put a monitoring device in your loved ones room so that you can hear any sounds that may indicate a fall or that your loved one is awake.
  • Install rails on your loved one's bed to prevent falls.
  • Make sure his or her mobility device is always close by in case your loved one tries to get up and walk around alone.
  • Remove the locks from the doors in your house so that your loved one doesn't accidentally get locked in.
  • Make sure all medications are stored in a lock box.

Remove Tripping Hazards

When your loved one begins using a mobility device to get around, you'll need to make sure there aren't any tripping hazards in your home. Of course, clutter can be a tripping hazard, but there are several other things that can trip people that you might not think about. You should move magazine racks, floor lamps, coffee tables. and any small tables that could obstruct a clear walking path. Additionally, remove any rugs you have in your home and carpet that has edges sticking up. When in doubt, it's probably best to remove it. Your loved one will need a clear wide path to be able to navigate well with a walker.

Living with someone with Alzheimer's disease doesn't need to be difficult. But you will need to make some changes around your house to ensure your loved ones safety.