Preparing the environment for the Alzheimer/Dementia patient

When preparing the living environment for the Alzheimer/Dementia patient, it is important to take an adult attitude and respect for the patient and patiently explain the patient the safety risks that may be exposed. However, remember that the memory problem of Alzheimer’s causes them to forget. Therefore, we can not take unnecessary risks because they are exposed to dangerous situations. Then the emphasis will be on prevention rather than on teaching new behaviors.
It is also important to help the patient feel that there is stability in his life, help him maintain contact with the past through familiar items, a familiar chair, and so on.
We also need the following to keep them away from danger:

  1. Prevention of drug poisoning from the patient: A patient with Alzheimer’s may forget that he has taken the medicine and may swallow twice or more. To prevent this, a family member should take responsibility for taking the medicine.
  2. avoid wandering by:
    1. Make sure to lock doors
    2. Place a black mat at the entrance to the house, which may appear to the patient as a “black hole” and prevent him from leaving the house.
    3. Install an alarm that alert when someone try to leave the house
  3. Hide toxic substances: The patient does not distinguish between permissible and prohibited, and may drink toxic substances such as detergents. Therefore, it is recommended to install locks in closets where toxic materials are stored.
  4. Throw away spoiled food: The patient does not always know the difference between spoiled food and fresh one.
  5. Keep out of reach candles and plants (especially toxic plants)
  6. Avoid using electric sheets: Using a sheet or an electric blanket may be dangerous. The patient might forget to turn off the electric blanket and to cause fire.
  7. Monitor the amount of alcohol the patient drinks or may drink by locking the liquor cabinet.
  8. Precautions in the bathroom: In order to avoid slipping or stumbling, it is important to install handlebars and a seat in the bathtub.

How to handle the patient?

Do not precipitate the patient, many accidents occur when the patient rushed. As the disease progresses, the time it takes to perform a task as simple as it may be will be longer because of the patient’s difficulty in understanding it. Also, many accidents occur in the shower, toilets, while dressing or eating. These accidents can be prevented by guiding the patient step by step in the task, and providing sufficient time for completion.
Remember that an Alzheimer’s patient is usually an adult and despite many difficulties, he should be treated with dignity – first of all as a person. In addition, in adapting the home to the patient’s needs while ensuring safety, it is important to emphasize what is good for the rest of the household. This can be done in a way that benefits both sides and will prevent the patient from unnecessary exposure to real dangers.

 

Make sure to read also our previouse article on Alzheimer & Dementia

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