Today, there are an estimated 5.7 million Americans living with Alzheimer’s disease, including 71,000 in Kentucky.
Safety is important for everyone, but the need for a comprehensive safety plan is particularly important for a person living with Alzheimer’s or other dementias, which cause a number of changes in the brain and body that may affect safety.
Taking measures to improve safety can prevent injuries and help a person with Alzheimer’s disease feel more relaxed, less overwhelmed and maintain their independence longer.
• Evaluate the environment. A person with Alzheimer’s or other dementias may be at risk in certain areas of the home or outdoors. Pay special attention to kitchens, garages, basements and outside areas.
• Avoid injury during daily activities. Most accidents in the home occur during daily activities such as eating, bathing and using the restroom. Take special precautions at these times.
• Adapt to visual limitations. Alzheimer’s and other dementias sometimes cause changes in vision that make it difficult for a person to decipher between colors and understand what he or she sees.
• Keep important documents accessible. Keep copies of important documents in an easily accessible location at home as well as in another secure location away from home.