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The Alzheimer's Association recommends the following tips for a safe environment.
1. ASSESS YOUR HOME: Look through the eyes of a person with dementia. What objects could injure the person? Identify possible areas of danger. Is it easy to get outside or to other dangerous areas like the kitchen, garage or basement?
2. FOCUS ON ADAPTING RATHER THAN TEACHING: Avoid trying tore-teach the person about safety. Instead, identify possible risks and take precautions.
3. SIMPLIFY THE ACTIVITIES: Most accidents, especially in the area of personal care, occur when the person is rushed. Break up activities into simple, step-by-step tasks, allowing the person plenty of time to get tasks done. Give extra help with tasks that have become hard to do.
4. SUPPORT THE PERSON’S NEEDS: Try not to create a home that feels too restrictive. The home should encourage independence, social interaction and meaningful activities.
5. BE REALISTIC ABOUT WHAT YOU CAN DO: You can’t prevent every problem. Rely on your common sense while paying close attention to objects or activities.
THE ALZHEIMER’S ASSOCIATION ALSO RECOMMENDS INCORPORATING THE FOLLOWING SUGGESTIONS AS WELL:
- Limit access to potentially dangerous places by using special safety devices such as child-proof locks and door knobs to limit access to storage area for knives, appliances and equipment, as well as cleaning fluids and other poisonous products. Use automatic shut off devices for appliances like irons, toaster ovens and coffee makers.
- Place dead bolts either high or low on exterior doors to make it difficult for the person to wander out of the house. Keep an extra set of keys hidden near the door for easy access. Remove locks in the bathroom so the person can not get locked inside.
FOR ADDITIONAL INFORMATION AND SUPPORT, CONTACT THE ALZHEIMER’S ASSOCIATION HELPLINE 1-800-272-3900 OR www.alzpa.org .
Westmoreland County Area Agency on Aging200 S Main StGreensburg, PA 15601Contact: Joan Wagner (724) 830-4444 1-800-442-8000