Safety in the home is a real concern for those caring for Alzheimer’s patients. The illness can cause people to become confused or afraid, even in familiar surroundings, and it can change how the brain processes the environment. For these reasons, it’s extremely important to make the home as safe as possible. Here are some things you can do to help prevent some common issues faced by patients and their caregivers.

1.) Wandering

Not only do some Alzheimer’s patients wander outside their homes, but they frequently pace throughout their own living spaces as well. Both these behaviors have a high risk of injury. To prevent them from leaving the house, install locks that are not in the immediate line of sight. You can also use safety devices that limit how far windows can be opened, and enclose the yard with fencing and a locked gate, if possible.

Elderly woman with Alzheimer's at home

Photo courtesy of Vince Alongi

Keeping items they usually put on in order to leave the house out of sight can help. Make sure coats and shoes are put away in the closet, and don’t keep the keys right by the door. Placing a “stop” or “do not enter” sign on exit doors may prevent them leaving the house. If your loved one is prone to wandering outside the home, make sure the neighbors know about it. Consider purchasing an identification bracelet indicating that they have memory loss and providing a contact number.

For inside the home, make sure the house is free of clutter your loved one could trip over. Area rugs should be secured or removed so they won’t cause a fall.

2.) Rummaging and hiding things

These are common behaviors, especially when Alzheimer’s patients become bored or confused. Lock up all cleaning chemicals and medications to avoid poisoning or overdose. Go through the fridge regularly so your loved one doesn’t unintentionally consume food that has spoiled, and keep garbage cans out of sight or at least covered.

Keep the doors to unused rooms closed to prevent hiding. Provide them with a special box or container to keep valuables in so they may not feel as much need to hide things, but be sure to keep important things like official documents and irreplaceable mementos out of reach.

3.) Hallucinations, illusions, and delusions

In some patients, the disease can cause these distressing symptoms. If you notice them in your loved one, contact their doctor immediately so they can get treatment. Additionally, there are things you can do in the home to minimize the effect.

Patterned wallpapers and large, bold prints on curtains or rugs can lead to confusion or hallucinations, so paint the walls a plain, light color and make sure all the rooms are well-lit. Move the furniture as little as possible. Avoid violent or upsetting movies and TV shows, because your loved one could become confused and think they’re real.

With a little extra effort, the home can be a secure and comfortable place for any senior dealing with Alzheimer’s. Another safety measure is having skilled in home care. For the best home assistance available, call Select Home Care today at (877) 230-3160 to get more information on the services we offer. We have locations all across the country, including Las Vegas, Westlake Village, and Pasadena

home safety tips for Alzheimer's patients