If a loved one has recently been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease or another form of dementia, you may be quickly learning that multiple safety measures have to be taken in order to keep them safe and well. When a senior with dementia moves into a caregiver’s home, it’s important to make adaptations so it becomes more dementia-friendly and safe. This not only prevents caregivers from becoming overstressed and increasingly worried, but helps them feel more prepared for their loved one to move in.
According to Alison Wall, Senior Living Consultant at TreVista Antioch, an assisted living and memory care community in Antioch, CA, seniors with dementia face a number of challenges as part of their disease. “Depending on what stage they are at in their dementia journey, their abilities and judgment may be altered either slightly or significantly. This can make navigating their environment more difficult and less safe,” says Alison. “From not remembering how to use household items or turn them off, getting lost within their new environment and believing that poisonous items are edible to having trouble using stairs, seeing where they are in the dark and wandering because of discomfort and anxiety, there is a lot to consider when preparing for their arrival and care. With some creative measures and research, it could be simpler than you think to make your home dementia-friendly.”
6 Ways to Make a Dementia-Friendly Environment
There are a number of ways to make sure your home is safe for your loved one, and the good news is, many of them are simple! When a senior with dementia is moving in, try following some of these practices from AARP® on how to create a safe place for a loved one with dementia.
- Go through common areas. It’s important to look at your house through someone with dementia’s point of view, according to the article. Will they have trouble navigating the furniture in the living room? Do they use mobility aids that can fit in between pieces of furniture? If not, rearrange some things to make more space. Will the hallways be too long and dark at night for them? Place some nightlights in the hall to help them see better.
- Renovate bedrooms. Your loved one with dementia may become confused by hectic wallpaper patterns and mirrors. If needed, paint the room a pale, calming color and remove any clutter, as this can help them to relax and feel more comfortable. According to the article, a minimalist look works best with those with dementia. Don’t forget to consider lighting, as well. Shadows can cause your loved one to become afraid and lights that are too bright can cause them to become agitated.
- Inspect the bathroom. Seniors with dementia are more likely to hurt themselves in the bathroom because of slippery surfaces and their already increased likelihood of falls. In order to prevent this, place non-slip rugs outside of the shower and a seat inside of the shower, a raised toilet seat can also help. Install handrails by the toilet and in the shower for ease of use. To ensure your loved one doesn’t scald his or her self on water that’s too hot, install temperature-controlled water faucets. It’s also important to keep medicines locked up. Be sure, like all other rooms, the bathroom is well-lit.
- Make the kitchen safer. When evaluating the kitchen, think about what your loved one may do in there. Unplug the microwave, store knives and electric appliances in a cabinet with a childproof lock and install automatic devices to shut the stove off after a period of time. Making food easier to reach can also help your loved one with dementia remain safe, as climbing on step-stools and overextending their reach can increase their likelihood of falling and getting hurt.
- Assess the garage, laundry rooms and basement. These areas often house tools, chemicals and other dangerous items. Go through and assess what you may need to lock up. Laundry detergent, car maintenance items and more can harm your loved one. Designate a specific area for these products to ensure your loved one’s safety.
- Don’t forget the outdoors. According to AARP®, the inside of the house isn’t the only thing you need to consider when your loved one with dementia moves in. You also need to consider outside of the home. Is your loved one prone to wandering? Perhaps a fence can help keep them inside the yard while giving them a safe place to wander. Light the steps and install handrails, keep walkways clear and the grill locked and put away. If you have a pool, it’s important to install alarms and locks and fence it separately so your loved one can’t get inside.
For more information and support on making your home safer for your loved one with dementia, contact the team at TreVista Antioch. We would be happy to provide you with some more expert tips and tricks to make moving your loved one with dementia simpler. Give us a call today at 925•329•6292.
Making the everyday extraordinary.
Family-owned and operated, Agemark Senior Living is the new owner of TreVista Antioch. Known for creating warm, welcoming communities, vibrant lifestyles and engaging programming, Agemark has been one of the most premier and trusted senior living providers since 1987. As Agemark’s newest community, TreVista Antioch is located on 10 acres in a prime location close to shopping and local attractions, as well as the great outdoors. Our beautiful community features a personalized, resident-centric approach to care that provides support, all while helping residents live full, connected lives.
At TreVista Antioch, we provide assisted living and memory care set in a beautiful environment that not only meets our residents’ needs but makes them, as well as their families, feel more at home. Although our gorgeous community is a plus, we truly believe it’s our programming and caring, dedicated staff that makes TreVista home. With our family-oriented inspiration and resident-centric approach, our residents flourish and experience days full of joy and meaning. Our staff learns each resident’s likes and dislikes and their values and pasts, right down to the dreams they never thought they could accomplish, in order to customize their care and make their dreams a reality.
LifeCycles wellness programming encourages our residents to connect, engage and enjoy life, every day. Our LifeCycles programming is designed to focus on the four dimensions of wellness: physical, social, spiritual and intellectual. This is achieved through a wide range of daily activities and routines, from outings and excursions to local events and programming at the community. At TreVista Antioch, our residents have the tools and care they need to make each day fulfilling, engaging and vibrant. Contact us to learn more!
Call us at 925•237•1952 for more information or to schedule a personal visit today.
TreVista Antioch is part of the Agemark family of senior living communities.