Over 64,000 people are currently living with dementia in Ireland and this number is expected to almost double over the next 15 years, to 113,000 in 2036. Many care facilities can support the needs of many seniors with dementia, but most would simply prefer to stay at home as long as possible, in familiar surroundings. Lots of families prefer to keep their loved ones at home but question whether it suits their current needs. If you discover that a family member or a loved one has been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease or a related condition you can certainly make their home a better fit as their abilities and experiences change over time.
The ultimate goal is to keep your loved one safe whilst maintaining as much self independence as possible. There are many ways you can make your home safe for a person with dementia. You will just need to be alert for changes in capabilities over time as the dementia progresses.
- An Occupational Therapist can assist you in getting the correct aids and equipment required to help with daily living such as handrails, a bath step or a walking stick.
- Make sure the lighting throughout the home is bright whilst also leaving a light on in the hallway if the person with dementia is likely to wander at night
- Limit access to dangers: Keep the car keys out of reach if your loved one should no longer drive. Secure any electrical sockets with childproof covers and remove any sharp objects
- Preventing falls: Remove any clutter and tripping hazards such as loose carpets or mats which could cause a person to fall. Add sturdy handrails in the bathroom and on either side of the stairs.
- Keep medications and any poisonous substances such as cleaning products, disinfectant out of reach
There may be a point down the road when your loved one can no longer be left alone in the home. A professional carer is an option to help keep the home safe and assist your loved one with bathing, dressing, grooming and other personal care. They can prepare meals, help your loved one eat and provide companionship. If you would like to discuss this option talk to us today on 01-2300020
If you require further support The Alzheimer Society of Ireland National Helpline is open six days a week Monday to Friday 10am–5pm and Saturday 10am–4pm on 1800 341 341