Alzheimer's Care

Alzheimer's disease affects people in a range of ways that may compromise their safety. For instance, people with the disease may:

- Forget to turn off the oven

- Forget which medications and products in the home are dangerous

- Lose their sense of time and place, such as not recognizing areas in the home, getting lost while on their own home street, or wandering away from home

- Have impaired judgement, such as using household appliances improperly

- Become more easily confused, suspicious, or fearful

- Develop impaired senses

If you're caring for someone with Alzheimer's disease, you can make their environment safer by:

- Installing smoke and carbon monoxide alarms throughout the home, safety knobs and a shut-off switch on the stove, childproof plugs on unused electrical outlets, and sturdy handrails in stairways and bathtubs

- Locking up or removing guns and other dangerous weapons, medications, cleaning products, gasoline cans, and alcohol

- Removing trip hazards, such as coffee tables, newspaper or magazine piles, throw rugs, and unnecessary furniture

- Keeping the home well lit

- Placing easy-to-read signs with simple instructions around the house to serve as a daily guide on how to do things, where to go, or what dangers to avoid

Also, make sure to take proper precautions against impaired senses, such as by:

- Painting walls and floors different colors to create a contrast that's easy to see

- Removing curtains and other items with busy designs that may cause confusion

- Testing all water to make sure it's below 120 degrees F

- Frequently checking for spoiled food

- Locking up scented products (such as toothpaste) that may be mistaken for food

- Keeping noise and music to a minimum