At the Alzheimer’s Association Georgia Chapter, our state office is conveniently located in the same building as the Dunwoody Police Department. We are so lucky to have become acquainted with one of the officers there, Lieutenant Oliver Fladrich. Lieutenant Fladrich is always so helpful to us and this month he is our guest blogger and has provided some home safety tips for caregivers:
- First, take a good look around and assess your home for possible hazards. What objects could be injurious for a person with dementia? Is it easy to get outside or to other dangerous areas like the kitchen, garage or basement?
- Make sure that safety devices, such as fire extinguishers, smoke and carbon monoxide detectors are in good working order and have batteries.
- Keep walkways well-lit. Use night lights in hallways, bedrooms and bathrooms to prevent accidents and reduce disorientation. If needed, consider adding extra lights to doorways, stairways and entry ways as well.
- Be careful with locks! You may want to consider removing locks from bedrooms/bathrooms so that the person with dementia cannot accidentally become locked inside. If needed, consider getting a loud alarm that sounds when a door or window is opened. Keeping an extra set of keys hidden in case you become locked out of the house is also a good preventative measure.
- Be prepared for emergencies. Keep a list of emergency phone numbers and addresses for local police and fire departments, hospitals and poison control helplines. And while you’re at it – make sure that the numbers on your home are easy to find in the dark by emergency personnel! White, reflective numbers on mailboxes or doors work best.