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Senior Assisted Living Blog

Safety Tips For People With Alzheimer's and Their Caregivers

- Thursday, January 20, 2011

Caring for a loved one with Alzheimer’s disease can be overwhelming.  In fact, according to the Alzheimers Association, there are more than 5 million Americans living with Alzheimer’s and as many as 10 million family caregivers. For the family member afflicted with Alzheimers, even routine daily events, such as hearing or seeing evening newscasts, can be truly terrifying. As a result, Spring Arbor is dedicated to creating an environment for the loved one which is as safe and nurturing as possible.

With children, the term is “childproofing.”  For those with Alzheimer’s disease, there is no similar term, but the concept is the same. Many things around the home that pose no danger to people in full possession of their mental faculties can be major hazards for people with Alzheimers. There are many steps you can take to reduce the risk of your loved one getting into things he/she shouldn’t, or reduce the risk of injury. We have a few tips that we find work very well and we'd like to share with you all:

  • Limit distractions and control noise.
  • Play radios softly, and turn the telephone ringer on low.
  • If your loved one watches TV, choose humorous or happy sitcoms, game shows and musical shows.  These types of shows can make the individual laugh and/or stimulate positive memories.
  • Maintain consistency and organization
  • Don’t rearrange rooms. Instead, maintain consistency by keeping furniture in the same place.  Keep the individual’s bedroom and living areas well-organized and keep pathways clear. In addition, clutter may confuse or upset people with Alzheimer’s disease.
  • Encourage activities that are success-oriented and that make the individual feel productive.  Many individuals with Alzheimer’s enjoy outdoor activities.
  • Lock up hazardous materials
  • Keep all medicines, cleaning products and sharp utensils up or out of reach.
  • Don’t forget, everyone needs a little TLC

With all the responsibilities and problems involved in caring for people with Alzheimer’s disease, it’s easy to forget how important a loving touch can be. A pat on the back, back rubs, foot massages, hugging or holding hands are calming, and they communicate love and safety in a way everyone can understand.  Several studies show that massage exerts a calming influence and minimizes behavior problems in Alzheimer’s care. Contact us today should you have any questions about living with Alzheimer's and steps to take.