Use this safety checklist for living at home with dementia. It can alert you to potential hazards.
Your home is a personal and precious environment. As you go through
this checklist, make adaptations that modify and simplify
without severely disrupting the home. You may want to consider setting
aside a special area for yourself, a space off-limits to anyone else and
arranged exactly as you like. Everyone needs private, quiet time.
A safe home can be a less stressful home for a person with a dementia such as
Alzheimer’s, the caregiver, and family members. You don’t have to make
these changes alone. You may want to enlist the help of a friend,
professional, or community service such as the Alzheimer’s Association.
Anticipate the reasons a person with Alzheimer’s disease might get out
of bed, such as hunger, thirst, going to the bathroom, restlessness,
and pain. Try to meet these needs by offering food and fluids and
scheduling ample toileting.
- Use a night-light.
Use a monitoring device to alert you to
any sounds indicating a fall or other need for help. (Also effective for bathrooms.)
- Remove scatter rugs and throw rugs.
- Remove portable space heaters.
- If you use portable fans, be sure objects cannot be placed in the blades.
Be cautious when using electric mattress pads, electric blankets,
electric sheets, and heating pads, all of which can cause burns and
fires. Keep controls out of reach.
If the person with Alzheimer’s disease is at risk of falling out of
bed, place fall mats next to the bed, as long as they do not create a greater
risk of accident.
- Use transfer or mobility aids.
- A soothing-vapor waterless vaporizer can reduce agitation and create a sense of calm.
- Consider adding an adjustable bed-rail or a mini-bed-rail. If you are considering using a hospital-type bed with rails and wheels, read the Food and Drug Administration’s up-to-date safety information online.
For more home safety tips, see the NIH / National Institute on Aging’s checklist: