Alzheimer’s disease is a progressive illness that affects cognition, memory, and even behavior. People with Alzheimer’s disease can even be more susceptible to illnesses. The best thing that families can do for a loved one who has Alzheimer’s disease is to create a supportive, safe environment at home. Alzheimer’s care providers are a big part of meeting that goal.
Install Safety Features Wherever Possible
Paying attention to safety features reduces the likelihood of accidents and injuries, which is even more crucial for Alzheimer’s patients. Some of the safety features to consider include:
- Grab bars or handrails
- Non-slip mats
- Safety gates
- Extra locks for doors and windows
- Door alarms
- Extra lighting
These safety devices ensure that the environment is safer for someone facing cognitive changes on a daily basis.
Work to Remove Clutter
Clutter and unnecessary items are something that need to be removed from any aging adult’s home in order to create a safer environment. For people with Alzheimer’s disease, clutter is even more detrimental. As the illness progresses, clutter makes it much more difficult for Alzheimer’s patients to find items when they need them. Clutter also creates obstacles that might create safety hazards, including tripping and falling.
Try to Reduce Noise and Distractions
Extra noise and distractions can be incredibly overwhelming for people with Alzheimer’s disease. It’s much better to promote an environment that is calm and as distraction-free as possible. Reducing the volume on the TV or radio or turning them off entirely when they aren’t in use can help with concentration and memory. White noise machines can be helpful if there is a lot of exterior noise.
Put a Routine in Place
Alzheimer’s patients often feel unsafe when they don’t know what is going to happen next. That feeling of uncertainty is something that can cause a great deal of both anxiety and agitation. Having a regular routine is soothing and offers consistency for everyone involved. Home care professionals can help Alzheimer’s patients find a routine that works and guide them through that routine.
Use Memory Tools
One solution that can be extremely helpful is to use as many memory tools as possible. Labeling drawers and cabinets, making clocks easily visible, and using large wall calendars are just a few of the memory tools to consider. Pictures can also be used to label rooms and remind Alzheimer’s patients who people are. Keeping a notebook at the ready for important daily notes can also be soothing.
Encourage Socialization as Much as Possible
Isolation is a problem for anyone who is aging, ill, or otherwise not getting the socialization that they need. For people with Alzheimer’s disease, lack of proper socialization can lead to isolation and depression much more quickly. Having caregivers available and setting up a schedule for visits from family and friends can help immensely.
Bring in Alzheimer’s Care Providers
Alzheimer’s care providers are especially equipped to know how to meet their patient’s needs. They offer one-on-one care and attention, assisting with any tasks and activities required. They can also help to provide respite care when family caregivers need time for a break.
There are a lot of different factors at play when creating a supportive and safe environment for someone who has Alzheimer’s disease. What’s important is to tackle as many of those issues as possible to see what works and what still needs adjustments.
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