One of the most difficult jobs for family caregivers is keeping elderly loved ones with dementia safe. Because the senior’s mind cannot be relied on for sound judgment and rational thought, it’s up to family caregivers and home care providers to look out for their safety and wellness on the aging adult’s behalf. The challenges are often overwhelming, which makes it a good idea to have several strategies in place to ensure that safety for the senior is the number one goal.
Seniors with Dementia Face Many Dangers.
When aging relatives struggle with dementia, it is often extremely challenging to ensure they stay safe at home. Wandering is one of the most common dangerous situations that seniors often bring upon themselves. As their memories of past locations and people clash with the realities of the present, many seniors decide to leave the house and go somewhere else. This can lead to getting lost or wandering into dangerous areas like a busy road or a construction site.
Another danger to seniors with dementia involves household accidents. In their effort to do normal things around the house, aging adults may not realize they are putting themselves in danger. Examples include turning on the stove and setting something flammable on the burner or breaking a glass on the floor and forgetting it is there only to step glass later. Family caregivers and home care providers need to be very vigilant in watching out for the elderly adult’s safety.
Tips for Keeping Seniors with Dementia Safe.
For the most part, elderly adults with dementia are not safe when they are alone, so the often need constant care. Family members, friends, and home care providers can all work together to establish a schedule where the aging adult always has companionship. Of course, there will be moments when caregivers are busy, involved, or distracted, but overall there should never be a long period of time when the senior is completely alone.
To prevent the dangerous impulses of wandering, family caregivers and home care providers must implement measures to thwart wandering, such as installing locks on outside doors and setting up sensors to alert them when the elderly adult goes too far away. When it comes to household accidents, family caregivers and home care providers should be proactive, disabling appliances when not in use, tucking dangerous objects like knives away. It’s also helpful to have plenty of safe activities to redirect their attention and keep seniors focused on more “important” tasks, like folding laundry, writing letters, and even sweeping the floor.
There’s no easy way to keep seniors with dementia completely safe—it involves a lot of hard work, focused attention and plenty of assistance from friends, family members, and home care providers. However, these vulnerable adults deserve to live in a safe and comfortable environment despite their misdirected efforts that unknowingly put them in harm’s way. With compassion, vigilance, and teamwork, family caregivers can keep their elderly loved one with dementia safe and healthy.
If you or an aging loved-one are considering caregiver services in Commack, NY, please call the caring staff at Companion Home Care of Long Island. Senior Home Care serving Suffolk, Nassau and Queens Counties. Turn your questions into answers. Call Today (631) 884-0005
Dorothy’s core expertise includes an extensive background of more than 38 years, focusing on Home Care, Senior Care and operating a successful in-home care agency.
In her spare time she enjoys her 5 grandchildren, gardening, skiing and competition 8-Ball.
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