Dementia affects older adults in many ways. One thing it can cause is a lack of judgement. Seniors with dementia might mistake dangerous items for food, misuse appliances, or harm themselves with certain objects. Keeping a senior with dementia safe in their home requires some planning and making adjustments. It can be difficult to determine what items might be dangerous for someone with dementia. Below are 5 things to keep away from your aging relative with dementia to help keep them safe.
Dementia destroys the memory of older adults, making them sometimes forget who the people around them are. It can also make them feel confused and fearful. As a result, an older adult with dementia might mistake someone they know for an intruder. Having a weapon in the house where the senior has access to it can put family caregivers and others at risk. If there are weapons in the home, keep them in a locked cabinet. You may also want to put sharp knives out of reach, too, including the ones in the kitchen.
Some people keep colorful magnets on the refrigerator that can resemble food or candy to a senior with dementia. This could cause them to swallow the magnet, which could cause them to choke. Swallowing a magnet can also lead to damage in the stomach or intestine, especially if the senior swallows more than one. The magnets may attract one another through different loops of the intestine and cut off blood flow or puncture the intestine. If this happens, the senior will need emergency surgery to repair the damage.
3: Decorative Foods
If the home is decorated with decorative items that look like food, such as a bowl of waxed fruit, it’s a good idea to put it away. Older adults may mistake the fake food for real food and try to eat it.
4: Detergent Pods
You may have heard of children accidentally swallowing detergent pods and becoming seriously ill or even dying. Unfortunately, the same has happened with seniors who have dementia. The brightly colored pods look like candy, making them attractive to dementia patients. If you use detergent pods, keep them in a locked cupboard or in a high up cupboard that the senior cannot reach.
5: Some Appliances
Some kitchen appliances can be dangerous for seniors with dementia. Older adults may turn on a stove burner and forget to turn it off, causing a fire. Or, they may put something in a toaster slot that could cause electrocution. To prevent such things from happening, take steps to keep them away from the appliances. Put small appliances away in cupboards. Take the knobs off the stove, so it cannot be turned on.
While it’s wise to take steps to keep some items away from older adults with dementia, it’s not a completely fool proof way of keeping your aging relative safe. Elder care can offer the kind of supervision the seniors with dementia need to continue living safely at home. Elder care providers can keep an eye on your loved one to prevent them from making dangerous errors. In addition, an elder care provider can see to the needs of the older adult that might lead them to do things they shouldn’t, such as hunger. Elder care providers can prepare meals for the older adult and help them to eat. They can also keep the senior occupied with other activities.
When you are in need of care for a senior loved one, consider caregivers provided by Golden Heart Senior Care. We have offices nationwide. For more information, call us today at (800) 601-2792.