Maintaining relationships can be tiring, strenuous, and fraught with challenges, but providing caregiving services for a loved one suffering from dementia can complicate matters further. This is especially true if the home environment in which they’ll be tended to isn’t quite up to snuff. There are a number of safety risks that need to be addressed prior to implementing a care solution, regardless of whether you intend to handle it yourself or, better still, hire an experienced professional to look after them.
Today, let’s explore how to safety-proof your home for more effective, hazard-free dementia caregiving, focusing on key rooms and other areas.
Even if you’ve enlisted the help of a caregiving professional, you need to have proper support systems installed such as grab bars, faucet covers, and childproofing measures to lock away medications and electrical appliances including hairdryers. In addition, we highly recommend installing nonskid mats and strips in the bathtub, shower, and on the floor. If possible, upgrading to a shower chair or walk-in bathtub is a great way to further protect your loved one.
The Living Room and Bedroom
Plenty of people install communications devices in the bedroom for those suffering from dementia, such as baby monitors or walkie-talkies. These are simple devices for them to use, unlike even the most “user-friendly” smartphones. Also, never leave items in the living room or bedroom alone with them that could pose a safety risk. These include space heaters, breakable objects, cleaning supplies, or even electric blankets; if there’s something that they can fiddle with dangerously, treat it as if they will.
We’ve seen many cases where folks with dementia randomly get up in the middle of the night, flick on the stove, then go back to bed without realizing what they’ve done. This is not only extremely dangerous but can be prevented by installing safety covers on burners and knobs. In addition, consider locking away items with sharp blades such as knives, blenders and the like, and unplug appliances such as toasters and garbage disposals when not in use. Finally, anything that’s colourful and pretty could be mistaken as something edible, such as fridge magnets or easily grabbable décor items, so hide them away as soon as possible.
Those with dementia are prone to locking themselves in rooms, so getting all non-essential locks removed is a smart move to make to help them feel safe and calm. Also, ensure rooms are well lit so they can see and have less of a chance of stumbling in the dark – night lights can be handy in this regard.
Want more tips on safety-proofing your home for dementia care, or do you want to obtain the services of a certified caregiver? We’re happy to help. Contact us at Qualicare Waterloo today.
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