How To Keep Dementia Patients Safer At Home?

3 min read
14 February 2023

Caring for a loved one with dementia can be a rewarding yet challenging experience. As the disease progresses, confusion and disorientation can lead to wandering, putting your loved one's safety at risk. However, by taking the right steps and using the right resources, you can keep your loved one safe and happy in your home.

Understand Wandering and its Risks

Wandering is a common behavioral issue among people with dementia and can result from several factors. In most cases, people with dementia wander off due to confusion, boredom, or attempting to fulfill basic needs. To prevent this, always take your loved one on a walk and try to use the same route all the time. This helps fulfill their personal need to go out and do something. If they wander off without you and use the same route, they will likely find their way home out of habit.

However, you can always install door alarms for dementia that will tell you to in case someone walks out. This way, you either follow them closely or accompany them out, so you keep them safe.

Keeping Them Engaged and Active

Boredom and restlessness contribute to wandering, so keep your loved one engaged and active. Encourage them to participate in activities they enjoy. These include reading, gardening, or listening to music. In addition, organizing visits with family and friends, attending social events, or taking walks with them is important, and it gives them something to look forward to. 

Have A Home Safety Checklist

Other steps you can take to keep loved ones with dementia safer at home. For instance, you can include the following:

  • Remove tripping hazards such as loose rugs, clutter, and electrical cords.
  • Install grab bars in the bathroom and near the bed to prevent falls.
  • Place a latch or deadbolt on exterior doors and windows to prevent wandering.
  • Keep walkways and rooms well-lit to reduce confusion and disorientation.
  • Label household items, such as the toilet and refrigerator, to help them identify them more easily.
  • Keep emergency contact information and a recent photo of your loved one with dementia in a visible and accessible location.

Staying Prepared

Although you can take all the necessary precautions, accidents can still happen, so always be ready. In this case, always have a list of emergency contact numbers, such as the police, a neighbor, and a family member. Keep your loved one's identification and medical information with you always. 

Finally, you can also write your number on a piece of paper and keep it in their pocket if they wander off. Write a note so people who are willing to help know your loved one has dementia and how to help them best. By staying prepared, you can ensure that you can respond quickly and effectively in case of an emergency.

Caring for a loved one with dementia can be challenging, but it's also an opportunity to show them love and support. By following these steps and taking proactive measures, you can minimize the risks and keep your loved one safer at home. Remember, keeping them happy, engaged, and secure is the most important thing. With the right resources, you can help them maintain their independence and dignity, despite the challenges posed by dementia.

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