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    How to create a dementia-safe home

    submitted by Julianne Hart, The Birches at Newtown Personal Care and Memory Care, www.thebirchesatnewtown.com

    For some people living with mild or moderate Alzheimer’s disease or dementia, staying at home alone may not be the safest option.

    Is it time for your mom or dad to move in with your family?

    Before assuming the role of a family caregiver, your residence needs to provide a safe environment to both you and your loved one.

    As their symptoms, such as increased memory loss, poor vision, impaired judgment, and wandering, develop or continue to progress, caring for your mom or dad can become challenging.

    But, keeping them at home isn’t impossible!

    Here are 10 helpful tips to make your home dementia-safe:

    • Install smoke and carbon dioxide detectors, and fire extinguishers.
    • Install alert systems on doors leading to the outside.
    • Disconnect garbage disposal.
    • Remove stove knobs.
    • Properly store medications and cleaning products.
    • Install grab bars in the bathroom.
    • Apply textured stickers to slippery surfaces.
    • Replace loose flooring or carpeting.
    • Secure access to the basement and tool shed.
    • Keep walkways and rooms well lit.

    For a complete home safety checklist visit the Alzheimer’s Association website at www.alz.org

    There are plenty of reasons to take on the noble task of caring for your loved one. However, you can become stressed or experience caregiver burnout.

    To prevent these feelings, most senior living communities provide free caregiver support groups where you can talk to dementia experts, express your care concerns, and receive local resources.

    If creating a safe living environment for your loved one living with dementia requires you to make expensive renovations to your home, then consider a move to a memory care community.

    With specialized programs and a highly skilled care team, your loved one can receive the nurturing care needed to help them age with dignity.