Among the most difficult parts of being a family caregiver to an older adult with dementia is the way the disease changes the way they act. It can cause them to make poor decisions that could lead to injuries or even death. They may also engage in challenging behaviors, like wandering, that make them wander away from home where they could get lost or die from exposure to the cold.
As a result, one of the chief concerns of many family caregivers is how they can keep their loved one safe. Fortunately, there are lots of things caregivers can do to improve the safety of a senior with dementia.
Below are some ideas to keep older adults with dementia safer.
Remove Inside Door Locks
If there are locks on bedroom or bathroom doors, consider removing them. An older adult with dementia may lock themselves in a room by accident and be unable to get the door unlocked. While alone in the room, they may become frightened and confused or hurt themselves. While not having a lock on the bathroom door could mean the senior occasionally walks in on their caregiver, a moment of embarrassment is better than the senior being injured.
Make Changes to the Stove
Seniors with dementia will reach a point where it’s unsafe for them to cook or use appliances in the kitchen. They may turn on the stove and forget to turn it off or do something unsafe, like leaving a towel resting against a lit burner, causing a fire. One way to prevent that is by having a circuit breaker installed for the stove, so the senior cannot turn the stove on when no one is looking. Caregivers may also want to remove the knobs from the stove.
Lock Up Household Chemicals
Every household has chemicals in it. They’re used for cleaning, keeping weeds out of the lawn, and filling the windshield wiper fluid on the car. Dementia can make older adults mistake chemicals for liquids they can drink. To prevent your aging relative from drinking household chemicals, keep them in a locked cupboard and put the key someplace they won’t find it.
Use a Monitor in the Bedroom
Sleeping in the room with the older adult can mean the caregiver doesn’t get enough sleep. Instead of sleeping in the room, try placing a monitor in the senior’s room. You can use the same kind of monitor used for a baby. That way, you can hear if the older adult gets out of bed or calls for you during the night.
If you or an aging loved one are in need of Caregiver Services in Dix Hills NY or the surrounding areas, contact the caring professionals at Star Multi Care Services today at (631)956-8835. We are the Right Choice for Home Health Care Services!
From 1978 to 1986, Sternbach was associated with Automated Data Processing, Inc. (“ADP”)–a provider of information services, where he held several marketing positions before becoming the Director of Sales.
1999-2008 Sternbach was an active participant on the Board of Directors for Proginet–a computer software company based in Garden City, New York. He also served on the Board of Trustees of the Long Island Chapter of the National Multiple Sclerosis Society from 1996-2002.
In 1996, Stephen Sternbach was named “Entrepreneur of the Year” by Ernst & Young, Paine Webber and NASDAQ. Sternbach was also named in Crain’s New York Business Article, “40 Under 40” Successful Business Executives/Future Business Leaders in 1995. While maintaining a diversity of business and personal interests, Sternbach concentrated most of his efforts over the past 28 years towards continuously improving the quality of services delivered by the Star Multi Care Services’ family of companies.
Stephen Sternbach holds a Master of Public Administration from Syracuse University – Maxwell School of Public Administration and a Bachelor of Arts in Industrial Relations and Personnel Administration from Ithaca College.
Latest posts by Stephen Sternbach (see all)
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- What Family Caregivers Can Do to Keep Seniors with Dementia Safer - October 28, 2019