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Dementia 101 for CareGivers: Household Items to Avoid

elderly women with dementia their caring hands are claspedCaring for an elderly parent with dementia is a challenge and can take both an emotional and physical toll on everyone involved.

A safe home can create a less stressful environment for an elderly loved one that is suffering from Dementia, as well as their caregiver and family members.  Here are some helpful tips for making your elderly parents safe at home:

• Display emergency numbers near all of the phones complete with contact details and relationships.
• Set your answering machine to pick up on the fewest number of rings. An elderly loved one with dementia is often unable to take a message or can easily become a victim of phone scams. To decrease the anxiety, remove the need for them to answer the phone.
• Install locks on the inside and outside of all doors and windows. Also, install locks high up so that your elderly loved one with Alzheimer’s cannot unlock the door without you.
• Hide a key outside your home or give a copy to your neighbour. This is to decrease the stress of when your loved one with dementia accidentally locks you out of the house.
• Cover all unused electrical outlets with childproof covers. As Alzheimer’s disease progresses in your loved one it will be imperative to safety proof your home similar to what you would do for a toddler.
• For homes with elderly parents that have dementia, stairway safety is essential. You should have the hand rail extend beyond the first and last step to help your loved one that has dementia not fall and keep their balance. Also, if possible, stairways should be carpeted and have safety grips on the stairs. The use of gates across the stairs is also helpful to keep your loved one with dementia from going up and down the stairs without you knowing.

• As dementia progresses some people will wonder. At Alvita Care, we strongly encourage putting bells on every door. This will alert you or the caregiver that your loved one with dementia is leaving a room.
• Keep all alcohol and prescription medications in a locked cabinet. Drinking alcohol can highly confuse a person with dementia and their medication should be closely monitored and handled by a professional.
• Lock all power tools and machinery in the garage, workroom or basement; keep the blades for the tools in a different locked location to prevent all accidents.

You do not have to embark on the journey of dealing with an elderly loved one that has dementia alone. Caring for an individual with Alzheimer’s disease or dementia does not need to consume your life. At Alvita Care, we strongly encourage you to enlist the help of a friend, professional, community support group or your local chapter of the Alzheimer’s Association.

Links to some special skills that can benefit someone with Alzheimer’s or dementia include:

Our caregivers are available to assist with personal care, household services, respite and/or companion care while bringing exceptional compassion, skills and knowledge about Alzheimer’s and dementia to our clients.