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The Home Safety Checklist For Loved Ones With Dementia

Minimizing household dangers and providing safe home health care for dementia patients can be simple and effective with proper preparation. Caregivers of a loved one with dementia can easily improve home safety in order to help them live better and to ensure a comfortable environment.

purple check box Create a “wander loop” that allows the patient to move around freely.
purple check box Use reflector tape to create a guidance path into commonly used rooms such as the bathroom or kitchen.
purple check box Cover electrical outlets and radiators.
purple check box Lock doors to basements and garages.
purple check box Lock cabinets containing liquor, medications, cleaning supplies and toxic substances.
purple check box Remove firearms from the home or store them in a locked cabinet. Keep bullets separate.
purple check box For home safety, install safety locks and alarms on doors and gates.
purple check box Eliminate glare from counters and floors by covering shiny surfaces, and remove lamps and lighting that may create confusing shadows.
purple check box Remove mirrors for dementia patients with hallucinations.
purple check box Keep car keys out of reach or in a locked compartment.
purple check box Do not allow unattended smoking.
purple check box Hire an aide who is certified and trained to work with dementia patients and is under the supervision of a nurse.
purple check boxConstantly reassess your loved one’s abilities with the help of a nurse or physician. Make necessary changes in dementia care as the illness progresses, for the better or worse.

RENATA GELMAN, RN and BSN, is a clinical manager for Partners in Care, the nation’s largest not-for-profit provider of private personal and home health care services and an affiliate of the Visiting Nurse Service of New York. She supervises and coordinates clinical areas of the private care division conducted by a multi-disciplinary team of RN field nursing professionals.