Caring for a loved one with dementia presents its own unique set of challenges. Adults with Alzheimer’s disease or other forms of dementia see the world in new and often confusing ways. What were once everyday events can now be frightening to them, and their own home can become a place that needs to be made safer and easier to navigate. Seniors Prefer Homecare has helped many families with loved ones suffering from dementia continue to live safely at home. Here are some tips, courtesy of the Mayo Clinic, that we hope will make this journey easier for your family.

Bathroom safety tips

Install a shower chair and grab bars

Place grab bars near the toilet, near the bathtub, and in the shower. A hand-held showerhead also might be helpful.

Address slippery surfaces

Place nonskid strips or a mat in the bathtub and shower. Unless the bathroom is carpeted, place nonskid strips on the floor near the bathtub, shower, toilet, and sink, too.

Use a faucet cover in the bathtub

A foam rubber faucet cover can help prevent serious injury if the person with dementia falls in the bathtub.

Lock up potentially hazardous products or electrical appliances

Install childproof latches on cabinets and drawers to limit access to potentially dangerous items. Use child-restraint caps on medication containers.

Reduce water temperature

Set the thermostat on your hot water heater to below 120 F (48.9 C).

Remove door locks

Consider removing locks from the bathroom doors to prevent the person from accidentally locking themself in.

Kitchen safety tips

Prevent access to potentially dangerous appliances

Install safety knobs on the stove to prevent the person with dementia from turning the stove on or off. Disconnect the garbage disposal.

Remove artificial fruits or vegetables or food-shaped magnets

These objects might appear to be edible.

Lock up breakable or potentially hazardous supplies

Install childproof latches on cabinets and drawers to limit access to items such as cleaning products, alcohol, matches, knives, scissors, and even plastic bags.

Bedroom safety tips

Install a monitoring device

A baby monitor will help you hear if the person with dementia needs help. This might be particularly helpful if they have advanced dementia.

Take caution when using heating devices

Don’t use portable space heaters in the person’s bedroom. If electric blankets or heating pads are used, keep the controls out of reach.

If the person with dementia tends to get up at night to drink, eat or use the bathroom, try to meet these needs before they go to bed.

Living room safety tips

Avoid clutter

Recycle newspapers and magazines. Keep areas where people walk free of furniture and cords. Keep plastic bags out of reach. Limit decorative objects. Trim large plants, and remove plants that might be toxic if eaten.

Mark glass doors, windows, and furniture

Place a decal on glass at the person’s eye level to help them see glass panes.

Take caution when using fireplaces

Don’t leave the person with dementia alone with an open fire in the fireplace.

Laundry room safety tips

Lock up potentially hazardous products

Install childproof latches on cabinets where you keep detergent and other potentially hazardous supplies.

Prevent access to the washer and dryer

Close and latch the doors and lids to the washer and dryer. Consider removing large knobs if the person tries to tamper with the machinery.

Garage shed, and basement safety tips

Lock up potentially dangerous items

Install childproof latches or locks on cabinets where you keep tools, tackle, machines, sporting equipment, paint, fertilizer, gas, cleaning supplies, or other toxic materials. Remove all guns or weapons from your home.

Lock all vehicles

Consider covering or removing vehicles and bikes that aren’t frequently used if the person has advanced dementia.

Outdoor safety tips

Check exits

If the person with dementia uses a walker or wheelchair, make sure they can get in and out of your home — when necessary. Consider widening doorways or adding ramps.

Keep steps safe

Mark the edges of steps with bright tape. Keep steps sturdy and textured to prevent falls in wet or icy weather.

Restrict access to the pool

If you have a swimming pool or hot tub, surround it with a fence. Install a gate with a lock. Cover the pool or hot tub when it’s not in use.

Avoid clutter

Keep hoses, foliage, and other debris off the walkways.

Safely store fuel sources

Remove fuel sources for your grill or other equipment when not in use.

Seniors Prefer Homecare provides compassionate dementia care in Huntsville and Tuscaloosa, Alabama. Our highly trained caregivers understand Alzheimer’s disease and dementia, and we also maintain a full-time licensed social worker on staff. Our team of caregivers is compassionate, patient, and dedicated to keeping your loved one with dementia aging safely at home. Call us today and we’ll promptly schedule a FREE in-home assessment to discuss your loved one’s needs.