If you have a loved one with dementia, in-home aged care may be able to help them continue living in their home. However, to foster their independence and keep them safe, you may want to have a few modifications done on their home as well. Here are some of the ideas to consider.
1. Alarm System
Many elders have emergency alert systems. If they fall or suffer an injury, they don't have to find the phone. Instead, they can just push a button on the emergency alert, and the monitoring station will dispatch the first responders.
However, in addition to that, you should also ensure that the home has a monitored fire alarm as well. That can be integrated with the emergency alert system, or it can be a standalone system.
With these systems, the alarm goes off as soon as it senses smoldering flames or smoke. Then, of course, the dispatcher sends the firefighters. In case your loved one leaves a pot on the stove or forgets to turn off the oven, this system helps to ensure they are safe from the risk of fires.
2. Address Changes in Depth Perception
Dementia and Alzheimer's' are generally associated with memory issues, but these conditions have a range of other cognitive effects as well. Many patients experience issues with their depth perception.
When the home dementia respite professional is with your loved one, you don't have to worry about this issue as much. However, for the times when your loved one is alone, you may want to take precautions to help them.
In particular, a loss of depth perception may make it hard to see glass patio doors. Put decorations on these doors so they are easy to see. Similarly, stairs that are the same colour are hard for some patients to see. Consider carpeting in alternating colours.
3. Reduce Glare
Along with depth-perception issues, some patients develop other issues with their vision. In particular, glares can be disconcerting. Get rid of polished, shiny floors—they can create confusing glares, and they can be a slipping hazard.
Also, consider replacing light bulbs with low-glare options. However, at the same time, make sure that you don't minimise light too much. Your loved one needs overhead lights that make it easy to see—shadows can also be disconcerting.
4. Add an Outdoor Security Camera
To keep tabs on your loved one when they are alone, you may want to install a motion-activated security camera. If you have the camera linked to an app, it will engage every time someone approaches the house or if your loved one is trying to leave the house.
To get more ideas, contact someone who specialises in aged care in your home, and ask them for renovation ideas as well as help with your loved one.