Updated: Jul 9
Dementia Care: Safety Tips for In-Home Care
When a loved one has dementia, care is both rewarding and stressful. With these in-home care safety tips, we hope to help you keep your loved one out of harm’s way. Assisted living doesn't need to mean sending your loved one to a facility. Oftentimes, care professionals work with family members to provide respite care.
When it comes to special needs care, home safety is incredibly important. Something as subtle as a throw rug or a stray toy quickly becomes a risk for fall or injury. To prevent such stressful situations, please consider these in-home care tips. If you have any questions about Alzheimer’s disease or any form of in-home care services, please schedule a free consultation.
Evaluate Your Safety
Begin your dementia care preparations with some consideration of your loved one’s behavior, health, and abilities. Is the person with dementia able to safely use the stairs? Do they wake up and wander your home throughout the night? Have they fallen in the past or presented themselves as a fall risk?
Every room holds potential hazards, so it’s crucial to thoroughly check each room and take note of the changes you need to make. Similarly, you should understand that in dementia care it is more effective to change the environment than to expect their behavior to change.
As the disease advances, their in-home care will need to change as well. Periodically, you should reevaluate their abilities and health. Be ready to make adjustments to your safety precautions as time goes on.
Dementia Care: Bathroom Safety Tips
Here are a few installations we have found to be particularly helpful in dementia care. With in-home care in general, the bathroom can present many risks to an aging loved one. Utilizing these tips will help to ensure you are ahead of the curve.
Slippery surfaces. Place nonskid mats or strips in the tub and shower. When the floor is tile, it also helps to place these near the tub, shower, toilet, and sink.
Grab bars or shower chair. Grab bars are helpful near the toilet, tub, and shower. You may also way to consider a shower chair or bench as well as a hand-held shower head.
Lock up hazard products and appliances. Childproof latches on cabinets and drawers will limit access to items that may pose a danger. Child-proof caps on medication containers can also help.
Reduce the water temperature. Consider setting the thermostat on your hot water heater below 120 F.
A faucet cover in the tub. A faucet cover can help to prevent serious injury in the event that your loved one falls in the tub or shower.
Remove door locks. You may want to remove locks from bathroom doors to prevent your loved one from locking themself in.
Practice caution with heating devices. To prevent fires, do not use portable space heaters. Likewise, when they use an electric blanket, ensure the controls are out of reach.
Install a monitor. A baby monitor helps you know when your loved one needs help. This becomes especially helpful when caring for someone with advanced dementia.
Does your loved one tend to wake in the night to use the bathroom or get a snack? Try to ensure these needs are met before they go to bed.
Kitchen Safety Tips for Dementia Care
The kitchen can present many dangers in special needs care. Here are a few tips to prevent risk and minimize the danger.
Lock up breakable or dangerous supplies. Child-proof latches once again help on cabinets and drawers. In doing so, you limit access to toxic items such as cleaning products and dangerous items like knives, scissors, and even plastic bags.
Prevent access to dangerous appliances. Safety knobs are a great addition to the stove. Lock away appliances to prevent potential misuse, and disconnect the garbage disposal to avoid nasty accidents.
Remove fake foods or food-shaped items. These can appear to be edible at times and will pose a danger in special needs care.
Safety in the Living Room
Avoid clutter. Recycle your old newspapers and magazines. Ensure the areas where people walk are free of furniture, cords, and other tripping hazards. Trim large plants and remove any that are toxic if eaten.
Be cautious with fireplaces. Do not leave your loved one alone with an open fire going.
Mark transparent doors, windows, and furniture. Place decals on glass at their eye level to help them see clear panes.
Dementia Care and the Laundry Room
Lock away hazardous products. Child-proof latches prove useful here. Install them on cabinets and drawers with potentially toxic or otherwise hazardous materials, such as detergent and cleaning supplies.
Prevent access to the washer and dryer. Close and latch the doors or lids. Consider removing any large knobs when your loved one has a habit of tampering with machinery.
If possible, you may want to keep the laundry room locked at all times. This can be the easiest way to practice dementia care safety.
Houston Special Needs Care
Oftentimes, people with dementia experience symptoms and progression differently. While these tips are practical and helpful, remember to begin with an analysis of your loved one’s habits and capabilities. This will help to ensure improved peace of mind and quality of life for everyone involved. Likewise, patience and flexibility will go a long way in helping you deal with the challenges ahead.
At Chrysalis Spectrum, we work with families in Houston, TX, and the surrounding areas to provide senior care and residential care plans that allow people to remain in a familiar place. The transition to in-home care can be an emotional experience. We understand that it is a huge step for families.
That is why we pride ourselves on finding the best match between clients and in-home caregivers. From respite care to special needs child care, we are in a unique position to match your loved one with an in-home care provider that suits your needs.