Home Safety for People with Alzheimer's Disease
General Safety Concerns
People with Alzheimer's disease become increasingly unable to take care of themselves. However, the disease progresses differently in each person. As a caregiver, you face the ongoing challenge of adapting to each change in the person's behavior and functioning. The following general principles may be helpful.
- Think prevention. It is very difficult to predict what a person with Alzheimer's might do. Just because something has not yet occurred does not mean it should not be cause for concern. Even with the best-laid plans, accidents can happen. Therefore, checking the safety of your home will help you take control of some of the potential problems that may create hazardous situations.
- Adapt the environment. It is more effective to change the environment than to change most behaviors. While some Alzheimer's behaviors can be managed with special medications prescribed by a doctor, many cannot. You can make changes in an environment to decrease the hazards and stressors that accompany these behavioral and functional changes.
- Minimize danger. By minimizing danger, you can maximize independence. A safe environment can be a less restrictive environment where the person with Alzheimer's disease can experience increased security and more mobility.
Is It Safe to Leave the Person with Alzheimer's Disease Alone?
This issue needs careful evaluation and is certainly a safety concern. The following points may help you decide.
Does the person with Alzheimer's:
You may want to seek input and advice from a health care professional to assist you in these considerations. As Alzheimer's disease progresses, these questions will need ongoing evaluation.
Publication Date: August 2010
Page Last Updated: March 31, 2014