If your senior loved one receiving elder care has been diagnosed with dementia, you may be wondering what to do next, or how you can help make things easier for them in their home.
We have compiled 10 helpful tips on ways that you and your loved one’s elder care providers can help them to remain safe and comfortable and at ease in their home for as long as possible.
1. Secure household items. When a loved one has dementia, you will need to look at household items in a different way, such as household cleaners that while normally are safe to have in the home, can present a danger to those who may accidentally ingest them. Other items that need to be secured are sharp knives, any flammable liquids or items such as lighters, any weapons that may be in the home, and anything else that your loved one with dementia may accidentally consume but shouldn’t.
2. Use technology to your benefit. Consider using cameras around the home to know if your senior has left the house, and also to keep a watchful eye if there are times that your senior is at home alone without their caregiver.
3. Keep them occupied. To try and prevent wandering from boredom, keep your senior occupied. Puzzles, board games, and crafts are all ways that their caregivers can help keep them busy and safe at home.
4. Talk to the neighbors. If your senior has neighbors that you know and trust, it may be a good idea to let them know of your loved one’s diagnosis. Have them be on the lookout for unusual activity such as your senior outside alone, or any doors or windows left open. Give them your number so that they can reach you if anything comes up or they see something they feel they should report to you.
5. Make signs. If your loved one is having trouble remembering certain things, such as where items are located, or certain activities they should do, such as taking medication at a certain time or flushing the toilet, etc, you can help them to remember by making notes and placing them in areas around their home that they will see.
6. Check entryways. It is very important to proactively take measures to secure all doors, windows, and stairwells in your senior’s home to prevent them falling or entering places they shouldn’t. Seniors with cognitive impairment could mistake a stairwell for a door, or try to leave the house during times when they need to be at home. Putting locks on the doors up high, where they cannot be reached by your senior can help to reduce accidents for seniors.
7. Increase lighting. Making sure all areas of your senior’s home are well-lit is a good idea in preventing falls, trips, and entering rooms that they don’t need to enter. Especially at night, if areas have proper lighting it can help your loved one to feel comfortable and safe in their home.
8. Bathroom safety. Take a look at their bathroom to see if anything can be done to minimize accidents. Secure products that can spill or be ingested, and consider a walk-in bathtub if that is something that could increase your senior’s safety.
9. Keys. If your loved one might be at risk for attempting to drive, make sure that any keys in the home, including those of the elder care providers, are kept out of reach at all times.
10. Supervise phone and internet usage. If your senior has access to phone or internet, and a credit card, make sure they are being supervised to avoid any purchases that they could make online or even by phone.
For Elder Care Services in Memphis TN, please contact the caring staff at Personal Care Services MidSouth today!