If your loved one has Alzheimer’s disease, it’s normal to have concerns about their safety. You should also consider your own safety, because sometimes the behavior of those with Alzheimer’s disease can be unpredictable. Here are some safety tips to protect yourself and your loved one.
Create a Safe Home Environment
If your loved one is living with you, you should prepare your home to make it safe for them. In addition to the conventional senior home safety tips, those living with Alzheimer’s disease will benefit from additional safety measures to keep them from wandering off or hurting themselves:
- Have your loved one wear an ID bracelet or other form of identification in case they get lost.
- Install child-safety devices on all windows and doors, so your loved one cannot leave the home or get at dangerous cleaning materials.
- Remove all weapons from the home so your loved one will be less likely to try to access them if they mistake you for an intruder.
- Put all medications in a medication lock box so your loved one can’t accidentally take too many.
- Inform your local police if your loved one tends to wander so officers can return them home safely.
What to Do If Your Loved One Becomes Violent
Those who are living with Alzheimer’s disease can get violent or aggressive, though many don’t. If your loved one does get violent, you need to make sure that they don’t harm themselves or you:
- Don’t unnecessarily touch or physically restrain them. Unnecessary touching or attempts to restrain your loved one can worsen their agitation and may cause them to physically try to hurt you. Back off and give them space. If they try to leave the home or hurt themselves, you will have to step in and gently restrain them.
- Make sure their needs are being met. Your loved one may lash out if they’re frustrated or if their needs aren’t being met. Figure out what caused the agitation and do what you can to remedy it.
- Play relaxing music. Playing some of your loved one’s favorite music can help calm them down. If music helps them, consider music therapy.
- Don’t yell. Raising your voice can be threatening—especially if your loved one becomes agitated by loud noises. Speak softly and be positive and reassuring.
If you find that you cannot take care of your loved one alone, don’t feel ashamed or embarrassed; you only want what is best for them. Skilled nursing can help you care for them by deciding what method of care is best for them.