The various types of cognitive impairment that occur during the different stages of Alzheimer’s can pose a threat to the safety of seniors affected by the disease. Understanding the ways Alzheimer’s progresses and the changes seniors experience can help family caregivers determine the best actions to take to prevent potentially dangerous mishaps. Here are a few safety measures that are easy to implement.
Provide Supervision when Going on Outings
For a senior with Alzheimer’s, a simple walk around the block without supervision can lead to a dangerous situation, as he or she may no longer recognize his or her own neighborhood. Once out and about, your senior loved one may not be able to find his or her way home. While it’s natural to want to venture outside, a senior living with Alzheimer’s shouldn’t go alone. Take your loved one for walks while keeping a watchful eye.
The symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease can make it more challenging for seniors to live independently. Homecare experts are available to provide high-quality care to seniors on an as-needed basis. From assistance with mobility and exercise to providing transportation to the doctor’s office and social events, there are a variety of ways professional caregivers can help your aging loved one continue to live independently.
Take Precautions to Prevent Wandering
As the disease progresses, seniors lose their understanding of the concepts of date and time. The ability to differentiate between day and night also commonly disappears. Wanderlust may lead to attempts to venture outdoors during the middle of the night. A simple magnetic door alarm can alert you if your loved one goes outside unexpectedly. One portion of the alarm attaches to the door frame, and the other affixes to the door itself. When the door opens, the alarm emits an audible signal. Creative family members might consider camouflaging doors to inhibit interest in going outside. Another option includes installing simple latches high enough to be out of reach.
Remove Night Dangers
With no sense of day or night, seniors with Alzheimer’s often wake up in the middle of the night to perform common household chores or prepare meals. However, in time, they often forget how to safely perform common tasks. Remove stove knobs to prevent burns or fires, unplug other kitchen appliances when not in use, lock exterior doors, and make sure alarms are set to prevent wandering. Perhaps consider turning on a desk lamp at night in your loved one’s room.
If your loved one needs help around the home to prevent injuries, consider hiring a caregiver. Seniors can face a variety of challenges as they age, many of which can be mitigated with the help of professional in-home caregivers who provide high-quality elderly home care. Oshkosh families trust Home Care Assistance to help their elderly loved ones age in place safely and comfortably.
Address Depth Perception Issues
Alzheimer’s causes the brain to receive and interpret information in unusual ways. Like-colored objects are often interpreted as having the same depth. When walking outdoors, your loved one may trip on a curb because he or she cannot detect the change in height. Indoor stairs are another consideration. Lighting the front of the steps makes them more clearly visible. Extreme differences in color can lead seniors with Alzheimer’s to perceive depths as greater than they are. Use nightlights to illuminate pathways at night, keep walking paths free of obstructions, and remove throw rugs to prevent trips and falls.
Every senior living with Alzheimer’s deserves high-quality Alzheimer’s care. Oshkosh families can rely on the caregivers at Home Care Assistance to keep their loved ones safe while managing the symptoms of the disease. Using our Cognitive Therapeutics Method, our caregivers help seniors regain a sense of pride and accomplishment while promoting cognitive health. To schedule a free in-home consultation, give Home Care Assistance a call at (920) 573-6295 today.