Safety Tips for You and Your Loved Ones

Safety is often one of the biggest concerns for families when their loved one is diagnosed with Alzheimer’s or a related dementia.  As a diagnosed individual progresses, many safety concerns can arise, due to changes in their judgement, behavior, and sense of time and place. The Alzheimer’s Association can assist families plan for the future with safety issues in mind. 

Read below for a short list of things to consider: 

Safety at home:

  • Install grab bars in the bathroom to allow for safety and independence
  • Remove throw rugs to help avoid tripping or falling
  • Put colored tape on stairs to help cue the individual for a change in surface

Firearm safety:

  • Firearms can be no problem for a responsible gun owner, but having firearms in a home with someone in the home living with dementia can create risks
  • Consider locking up or disabling the gun. Lock the ammunition separately from the firearm
  • Consider removing the gun from the home to eliminate the risk of an accident

Wandering:

  • Keep the individual engaged throughout the day in activities and make sure the diagnosed individual gets good exercise
  • Put locks or alarms on the exterior doors if wandering is a concern
  • Considering signing up for the Alzheimer’s Association’s Medic Alert + Safe Return program

Emergency preparedness:

  • Keep copies of important documents in a safe place (i.e. living will, power of attorney, list of medications, etc.)
  • Prepare a kit with medications, food/water, and extra clothes
  • Make a plan of how to get everyone to a safe place in case of emergency

For more information, please visit alz.org/safety or call our 24/7 Helpline at 800.272.3900

Resource: Alzheimer’s Association Topic Sheet ”Safety: Steps to take for a person with dementia”

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