Guest Post by Paul Denikin: Paul enjoys working on DIY home repair projects. He is passionate about sharing his experiences working on DIY projects through dadknowsdiy.com to benefit people with special needs children.
Photo via Pixabay by Julim6
Alzheimer’s disease affects different people in different ways, and while it can eventually cause the person it affects to lose independence, it’s important for them to retain as much of their lives as possible. That’s why many families bring their loved one into their home in order to make sure they get the best care possible and to keep them comfortable, but there are many things to consider before doing this. It’s understandable to want your loved one to be able to do some things for themselves, but it can’t be at the risk of their safety.
The best way to begin is by walking through your home, inside and around the perimeter, and look at it the way the parent of a young child would. Look for potential hazards and dangerous items; is there a steep stairwell, or a basement full of sharp tools? Are there doors that need to remain locked or dimly-lit hallways that might cause a fall? Start there and move onto larger things. Here are a few of the best tips for making your home a safe and healthy place for your loved one.
Take their physical health into account
Alzheimer’s disease can lead to vision problems, such as a decreased ability to see contrasting colors and light. For this reason, it’s a good idea to help your loved one find the things they need easily throughout the house by painting walls dark colors. For instance, painting the wall behind the toilet a dark shade of blue instead of leaving it white.
Because their memory will likely be affected, it’s also a good idea to help them find their way around easily by posting photos on the doors. Reading text may prove difficult, so seeing a picture of a toilet or bathtub will help them figure out which room is the bathroom.
Hallways, stairs, and the most-used living areas need to be checked for clutter and trip hazards. This can include loose carpeting or rugs, toys, furniture, or loose floorboards. It’s also imperative to make sure all parts of the house are well-lit, as this can prevent falls as well.
Secure the doors
Make sure all doors to areas that don’t need to be accessed--sheds, garages, rooms with weapons--are securely locked at all times. You might even consider installing motion sensor alarms so you always know which doors are being accessed and when.
Make bathrooms comfortable
Soft, non-slip mats are perfect for the bathroom, both on the floor and in the shower. Install a shower chair and hand rail to ensure your loved one will stay safe while bathing, and lock up medicines and sharp instruments.
Check alarms and appliances
Make sure all smoke alarms, carbon monoxide detectors, and fire extinguishers are in good working order. If you have a gas stove, consider installing a shut-off valve in the kitchen and make sure the stove’s knobs are removable.
Making one’s home accessible yet safe for an Alzheimer’s patient can be overwhelming, but if you look closely at what your loved one’s needs are and apply them to your home, you’ll be able to make a comfortable space that won’t cause stress.