Submitted by USF Health Byrd Alzheimer’s Center & Research Institute
Creating a safe environment is especially important when you are caring for a person who has Alzheimer’s disease or other dementias. As the disease progresses, the person loses cognitive abilities that can greatly affect their safety. Alzheimer’s i snot just memory loss. It also affects other cognitive skills including: logical thinking, reasoning, decision making, judgement, problem solving, abstract thinking, attention and concentration, confusion, language.
GENERAL HOME SAFETY
- Remove guns & weapons from the house
- Place large knives, scissors and matches in a safe place
- Remove scatter rugs or use low pile rugs with non-skid backings
- Keep cords out of walkways, remove knick-knacks, baskets and clutter from floor
- Put important documents & valuables in a locked drawer
- Remove toxic cleaning products and put them in a locked cabinet. Some scented cleaning products, detergents and shampoos have pictures of fruit on the bottes, the person with Alzheimer’s may think it’s juice.
- Keep all OTC medications, prescriptions, vitamins, herbals and ointments in a locked cabinet or drawer
- Put an alarm or bell on the exterior doors to alert you when doors are opened
- Some individuals with Alzheimer’s do not recognize themselves in a mirror and become very upset by the reflection of the ‘stranger’. Remove mirrors in the home and bathroom if they no longer recognize themselves
- Place a stop sign on a door to discourage a person with Alzheimer’s from entering
- Put liquor and wine in a locked cabinet