Archive | August, 2010

Home Safety for Seniors

3 Aug
A calm, safe home can be helpful for you and your loved one. When a loved one with Alzheimer’s disease lives with you, you need to look at home safety through new eyes:
  • Look for things that might be unsafe.
  • Ask yourself if anything could confuse or upset your loved one.

If your loved one does not live with you, you may feel better if you know their home environment is safer. If you can, drop in to visit regularly. Arrange for friends and family to do the same. They can help keep you aware of safety issues.

And remember, even if your loved one just visits once in a while, you should try to make your home a safe place. Stores that supply baby and infant supplies carry cabinet locks, oven knob covers, and other devices that can help.

Along with local home care and social services in your loved one’s area, these tips may help keep your loved one safer in their home.

  • Put latches on kitchen cupboards where cleaning supplies are kept.
  • Keep items like knives, lighters, and matches locked up and out of reach.
  • Put an automatic shut-off switch on the stove to help prevent burns or fires.
  • Remove locks from bathroom and bedroom doors.
  • Put labels on all medicines and keep them locked up.
  • Install grab bars near places like the bathtub or toilet where your loved one may need help getting up or down.
  • Consider a shower chair to prevent falls.
  • Add latches on bathroom cupboards where cleaning supplies are kept.
  • If your loved one wanders, putting locks on all windows and outside doors may help. But make a plan for fire safety first.
  • Make sure lighting is good both in and around the house.
  • Keep the house free from clutter.
  • Put away small, slippery rugs and objects that might cause a fall.
  • Be sure all dangerous objects are securely locked up and out of the way.

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How to talk to a loved one with Alzheimer’s.

3 Aug


There may be times when your loved one does things that don’t seem to make sense. Or, they may behave in ways that upset you. When this happens, don’t forget that your loved one is not acting this way on purpose.

Talking with your loved one may be hard since Alzheimer’s disease can affect speech and language. Your loved one might have a hard time telling you what is wrong. It might also be hard for them to understand what you mean. When you are talking with a loved one who has Alzheimer’s, these tips may help:
  • Try to choose simple words and use short sentences.
  • Use a calm tone of voice.
  • Don’t “baby talk.”
  • Reduce noise and other distractions to help your loved one focus.
  • Try not to interrupt.
  • Avoid criticizing or arguing.
  • Be sure to listen when your loved one talks.
  • Don’t get too close or crowd your loved one when talking.
  • If your loved one gets confused, take a break. Talk about something else if it helps.
  • Try to choose a time of the day when your loved one tends to be calm and receptive for your talk.
  • When you call your loved one on the phone, be sure to say your name clearly.

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