when you are attending person with Alzheimer disease you have to make sure that the personal feelings of the person are respected, besides you also have to…
It is very important to consider safety when caring for a person with Alzheimer’s disease. Accidents are possible even if plans are made and adhered to. A couple ways to minimize dangerous situations are making sure your home is safe and preventing the person from wandering or driving when skills decline. Home Safety People who are providing home care for senior citizens with Alzheimer’s must examine their homes thoroughly to identify and change possibly dangerous objects or setups. The creation of a safe environment can minimize dangerous, stressful situations. Here are some things to do when preparing to provide in home care:
- Put in secure locks on outside doors and windows, especially if the person tends to wander. Install a keyed deadbolt or additional lock higher or lower on the door. Conversely, removing locks on bathroom doors will ensure that the person does not accidentally lock him or herself into the bathroom.
- Install childproof latches on kitchen cabinets and cupboards as well as places where you keep cleaning supplies and other chemicals.
- Make sure medications are labeled and locked away. Keep dangerous objects like knives, lighters, matches, and guns out of reach. Put away and secure anything that poses a threat to safety, both inside and out.
- Maintain a tidy, well-lit environment. Remove scatter rugs or other objects that might cause the person to slip and fall.
- Think about installing an automatic shut-off switch for your stove to minimize the risk of burns or fire.
- If the person goes out, make sure he or she is carrying identification and is wearing a medical bracelet. If he or she becomes lost and cannot effectively communicate, this will let people know the person’s identity and alert them as to his or her medical condition.
- Ensuring safety is one of the most important tasks of care giving. People with Alzheimer’s sometimes wander away from their homes and care givers, so knowing what to do to prevent wandering is of utmost importance. Driving After making the difficult decision that someone with Alzheimer’s is no longer capable of driving, sharing the decision with that person should be done carefully and sensitively. It is extremely important to consider his or her safety as well as the safety of others on the road. Here are some ideas to help you decide whether someone with Alzheimer’s should no longer drive and to guide your communication with that person:
Look out for signs that the person can no longer drive safely, such as becoming disoriented in familiar places, driving too fast or slow, not heeding traffic signs, or becoming angry or confused. When you tell the person about your decision, try to be sensitive to the person’s feelings, but remain firm in your request that he or she not drive. Ask for help from a doctor. The doctor may be seen as more of an authority figure, and the person may be more willing to stop driving. The doctor may be willing to write a “prescription” to stop driving as well as to call the Department of Motor Vehicles to request a reevaluation of the person’s driving ability. If it becomes necessary, take away the car keys. If holding onto keys is important to the person, substitute a different set of keys. If nothing else seems to be working, you may want to disable the car or move it to a place where the person can no longer see it or access it. Caregiver Support When learning that a loved one has been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease, you may become stressed, frightened, and overwhelmed. Some helpful tips for dealing with the new diagnosis are listed below.
- Ask the doctor questions you have about Alzheimer’s, including which treatments might be the most useful in alleviating the symptoms or controlling behavioral problems.
- Certain community groups offer classes to teach care giving problem solving and management techniques.
- Locate a support group where you can talk about your concerns and emotions. Fellow members might have ideas and resources to share based on their own experiences. If you would like to find a support group but would rather stay at home, there are many support groups online.
- Map out your schedule in order to identify times in which you can create a normal routine to make activities run more smoothly. If certain times of the day are better for the person with Alzheimer’s in terms of behavior and emotions, try to plan your schedule to make the most of those times with the person. The person’s behavior may change from day to day, so be prepared to be flexible and change your schedule as needed.
- Think about using adult day care or in home health care services to allow time for your own relaxation. By using these services, you can have a break from the demands of care giving while knowing that the person is safe and cared for.
- Try to plan ahead. This may mean collecting financial and legal documents, exploring long-term care options, and figuring out which services are covered by health insurance and Medicare.