Dementia: 6 Household Dangers
With over 5 million Americans currently living with Alzheimer’s disease, the condition is more common than not. The number is likely much higher, as not everyone reports their illness to caregivers. The Mayo Clinic finds that Alzheimer’s sufferers experience a decline in cognitive ability such as memory, awareness and a grasp of everyday concepts. Given the effect that Alzheimer’s has on understanding, people who develop the disease often fall prey to risks around the home. In this article I will take a closer look at several of these dangers, and describe the steps that caregivers can take to minimize them, either at home or in a care home.
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1. Kitchen hazards
The kitchen is the most dangerous area in the home for people living with Alzheimer’s. Knives and other utensils that may cause harm, and that is not to mention that the stove, microwave. For example, someone might neglect to turn off the stove, increasing the risk of fire. Keeping your loved one safe in the kitchen, thus, is a multifaceted job. Additionally, it may help to store sharp utensils in regions that are not readily available, such as cupboards. The source mentioned that people with Alzheimer’s must be kept away from the tap and sink if possible, on account of the risk of burns. If an individual residing with Alzheimer’s could be discouraged from entering the kitchen, their risk of injury will decrease. “Kitchens are possibly the most dangerous room in the home for people living with Alzheimer’s.”
As we get older our sense of balance declines, and people with Alzheimer’s are vulnerable to drops that can lead to serious injury. Hazards that could cause drops include loose rugs, halls which are cluttered, stairways without hand rails and so on, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention explained. Removing these dangers is comparatively easy: Caregivers should ensure that walkways are kept clear at all times. You should also set up hand rails on staircases. An article from Senior Lifestyle advocates making the hand rail a bright color that’s visually striking, to help patients understand where the railing is.
While it might look obvious, weapons such as firearms pose a particular threat. Patients might mishandle the weapons after becoming confused, placing themselves and others in danger. That is why it’s imperative for all weapons to be stored in a safe.
Medications pose a risk too. Patients can become confused as to dosage or what time of day they are to take a particular drug.
5. Hot water
Those with Alzheimer’s are at a greater risk of being burned while cooking, running a bath or even washing their hands. Elder.org advised in a post that health professionals should ensure that vibrant colors (red and blue) are utilized on all taps. Patients will be more readily able to determine which tap is which.
6. Becoming lost
Alzheimer’s sufferers are often confused about their whereabouts. Consequently, they become lost, and find themselves at risk if they have attempted to leave their home. Caregivers must ensure that doors remain locked at all times – especially when others are still asleep. The Alzheimer’s Association suggested placing locks up on the doorway, out of reach.