When an older adult has late stage dementia, they make do things that put them at serious risk. Sometimes they don’t remember how to properly use an item, or they may mistake an item for something else. As a result, they may injure themselves or someone else. As you review the home of a senior with dementia for safety, here are five things to take extra care with.
You’ve probably heard that laundry pods should be kept away from toddlers because they are colorful, and look like candy. Unfortunately, they pose the same problem for seniors with dementia. The brightly colored pods are sometimes attractive to people with late stage dementia who may put them in their mouths. Laundry pods are very toxic and have caused the deaths of several people with cognitive issues. Consider using a different form of laundry detergent. However, if you continue to use pods, place them in a cabinet out of reach and secured with a child-proof lock.
A person with dementia may not be able to use kitchen knives safely. They may accidentally cut themselves. In addition, it is possible for a person with dementia to mistake a family member or caregiver for an intruder since they may forget who the person is. Access to sharp items may pose a safety risk for others.
If there are guns in the house, make sure they are locked away securely. Keep the key hidden and the ammunition in a separate place. Again, dementia can cause an older adult to believe there is an intruder in the home.
Someone with dementia may not remember that they are no longer supposed to drive. If car keys are in a place where they can be reached, the dementia patient might take them and try to drive. This not only endangers the senior, it also endangers others on the road.
The memory loss caused by dementia makes it hard for seniors with the condition to remember if they have taken their medications or not. This may lead to taking extra doses. Medications should be kept locked up.
If you’re worried about the safety of an aging relative with dementia, hiring an elder care provider to be with them when family caregivers cannot be could help. An elder care provider can keep an eye on them to make sure they don’t wander away or engage in unsafe activities. At the same time, an elder care provider can also allow the senior to retain as much of their independence as possible, allowing them to do as much as they can on their own.
If you or an aging senior are considering hiring in-home elder care in Trophy Club, TX, please contact the caring staff at Ray of Sunshine today! (940) 442-5374.
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