For someone with Alzheimer’s disease, it may become difficult to recognize what is safe or unsafe in the home and in interactions with other people.
A person’s brain function and abilities change during the course of Alzheimer’s disease. Along with the common symptom of short-term memory loss, these changes also have the potential to impair the senses, affect judgment and create an increased sense of paranoia and/or confusion.
The National Institute on Aging provides a free booklet titled “Home Safety for People with Alzheimer’s Disease” at the following Web site: www.nia.nih.gov/alzheimers/publication/home-safety-people-alzheimers-disease
This 40-page booklet provides room-by-room suggestions for creating a safer space for people with Alzheimer’s disease. The booklet outlines ways to prevent hazardous situations, adapt the environment and minimize danger to help loved ones with Alzheimer’s disease live as independently and as safely as possible. It is important to assess the environment by checking each room in your home for potential hazards.
The booklet provides suggestions such as:
Making changes such as the ones recommended in “Home Safety for People with Alzheimer’s Disease” is one way caregivers can feel more in control of the situation and experience increased peace of mind.
By Michelle Kutner, CSW, MSW, CTRS
Specialty Service Consultant