There are a number of changes loved ones and caregivers can make to adapt their home to better suit life with an Alzheimer’s disease patient. Some of the most simple and beneficial things are not obvious to caregivers and loved ones, but will greatly help an Alzheimer’s patient. That’s because brain changes in Alzheimer’s patients can both alter judgment and make previously simple concepts difficult to grasp. Let’s review a few simple alzheimer’s living safety tips but not necessarily obvious changes one can make to their home to help make life easier for an Alzheimer’s sufferer.
- Get cords, loose rugs and wires out of the way. Alzheimer’s can exacerbate physical limitations so making the environment free of hazards is hugely important.
- Put the blinds up during the day and down at night. This helps Alzheimer’s sufferers better make the natural day-to-night connection and helps reduce confusion.
- Camouflage areas of the home that may be unsafe and that you’d like to limit access to. For example, you can cover a basement door in wallpaper to help it blend in and lessen the Alzhiemer’s patient’s interest in it.
- Diffuse glare and bright lights, and even consider covering highly polished furniture. Bright, reflective lights and other items can agitate and confuse an Alzheimer’s patient, many of whom experience changes in vision due to the disease.
- Pre-set the water temperature so they are unable to burn themselves – the disease can affect their ability to judge temperature.
- Finally, if you believe your loved one may be at risk of wandering away from the home, it’s useful to invest in a “safe return” device in case they become lost. These are available in many forms, including watches and shoes.
Overall, it’s important to focus on adapting rather than teaching. Due to short-term memory loss, an Alzheimer’s patient will not remember to avoid a certain space in the home or know how to turn down a bright light, so adapting to the changes they are experiencing is a much easier, less stressful way of improving the quality of life for someone with Alzheimer’s.
Alzheimer’s Living Safety Tips and About the Author:
Bridges by EPOCH is the evolution of EPOCH Senior Living’s renowned memory care program BRIDGES. Recognizing that a free-standing community devoted entirely to caring for those with memory challenges can provide more focused care, an enhanced lifestyle and a more fulfilling environment, Bridges by EPOCH is the realization of EPOCH’s commitment to improving the lives of all those touched by Alzheimer’s disease and memory loss. EOEA Certification Application Pending.
With nearly 20 years of experience in the senior living industry, Alicia Seaver is committed to making a difference in the lives of seniors. Prior to joining the Bridges by EPOCH team, Alicia held various positions at senior living communities in Florida and Massachusetts, including Executive Director of Hearthstone Alzheimer Care and Memory Care Program Director at Emeritus Senior Living. Through her extensive experience, Alicia gained valuable knowledge and expertise that will allow her to truly make a difference in the lives of residents at Bridges by EPOCH at Hingham. Additionally, Alicia is certified by the National Institute on Aging as a Memory Impairment Specialist and is certified in both Massachusetts and Florida as a State Certified Alzheimer’s and Related Dementia Trainer. Alicia is excited to be part of an organization that is as dedicated to providing high quality, individualized care to seniors as she is. Alicia currently lives in South Shore with her husband and two daughters.