Safety Tips for Caregiver for Dementia Patients
When caring for a loved one with dementia, necessary precautions need to be taken if order to accommodate them better and to make sure that they are kept safe. Dementia is a condition that progresses over time and being prepared to keep everything in order for peace of mind is fundamental. Caregiving for a person with dementia is not limited to assisting on daily tasks, it goes beyond that and making sure a safety environment is provided for them.
We have gathered a small list of safety tips for dementia patients, to make them feel as secure and safe as possible. For a person with dementia the best living environment possible is the one that lets them be as happy and independent as possible. It is important that they acquire a sense of familiarity to their surroundings; their home setting should be designed to let them know where they are and how to find where they want to go. Sudden changes to these settings may add to disorientation and confusion.
· It is important to keep their home with a simple arrangement and uncluttered; this will allow them to move freely.
· It is advisable to install night lights and motion-sensor lights around the house, specially on hallways and bathrooms, it will always ensure visibility for them even at night time
· Place all medications in a locked drawer or cabinet.
· Make sure that tripping hazards are removed entirely. Remove loose rugs and seal carpet edges that might be potential safety hazards.
· It’s important that all potentially hazardous elements, materials and house hold items to be carefully stored away and kept away from patients with dementia. Also, it is important to remove any firearms from the home.
· It is important that the noise levels around the house are monitored. Too much noise could cause for disorientation and confusion.
· Check heating appliances and kitchen appliances that might be too hot to touch. Have knifes and hazardous sharp objects locked away.
· Install smoke detector, make sure that the battery and make sure the alarm is loud enough.
· Be prepared for emergencies, always keep a list of emergency phone numbers and always have a emergency safety kit at hand as well as a fire extinguisher.
· Keep the car keys out of sight.
If the patient with dementia does wanders off or goes outside to a backyard or garden, there some precautions that must be taken into consideration:
· Have them wear an identification bracelet or necklace with their name, address and phone number.
· Have all the paths well swept, and clear of any tripping hazards.
· Make sure all gates are properly closed and not easy to open, to prevent them from wandering off.
It is highly advisable to keep a safety checklist and constant, once every two days to do a quick check that everything is in place. Keeping a patient with dementia in a safe environment, not only protects them, it also provides the family and their loved ones peace of mind.