ATLANTA, Aug. 26, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- Home can be a scary place for someone who has been diagnosed with dementia or Alzheimer's. The possibility of wandering into unsafe areas or disappearing outside the home is a constant worry for loved ones.
Environment is so important to a person with dementia. It is critical to address factors such as noise, color, lighting, as well as these other safety precautions:
- Lighting – Dementia can cause susceptibility to glare, sudden changes in light levels and hallucination. Make sure rooms are evenly lit and that your loved one is not going from an overly lit room to a dark one. Glare-free lighting works best. If there is a lot of glare on a table or on a surface it can distort visual perception. Installing automatic lighting can also be very helpful.
- Disguise Doors – Disguising a door can prevent wandering into a dangerous place. Hang a curtain or turn the door into a mural. Studies have shown that a large red stop sign sends an understandable message to even those with severe memory loss. Install multiple locks on a door, each at varying heights out of direct sight and supplement with an alarm.
- Flood Alarms – Flood Alarms are inexpensive insurance in any room where a water leak or overflow might be possible. Also install faucets with anti-scald devices.
- Handrails – Mobility issues are common with dementia. Handrails increase the ability to function. Grab bars are also helpful for getting on and off the toilet safely.
- Color Contrast – Depth perception is a serious problem and climbing the stairs can be a big issue. Use 2 inch color tape or paint stripes going up and down the stairs.
- "Baby Proof" – Install latches higher or lower than eye level. Use gates to deny access to unsafe areas. Use motion sensor devices that sound an alarm or turn on a light to alert you to someone wandering where it may not be safe.
- Clear Clutter – People with dementia can develop a shuffling walk and may not pick up their feet. Remove area rugs and door sills. Make the home easy to navigate through.
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