Is your parent moving in with you? Does he or she suffer from Alzheimer's? If so, he or she will likely be much safer in your home than they would living alone. However, that doesn't mean your home is hazard-free. Even the smallest and most innocuous of items can pose a threat to someone with Alzheimer's. Before your parent moves in, it's important that you do a sweep of your home to make sure all hazards have been managed. Here are four tips to consider as you're reviewing your home and your care plan for your parent:
Put all kitchen appliances and sharp objects in an out-of-reach cabinet. Your blender, mixer, and toaster may not seem dangerous. However, consider them from your parent's point of view. If they're experiencing a period of extreme confusion, they could easily make the mistake of sticking their hands in a working blender or toaster. The same is true for sharp steak and cutting knives. To protect your parent, put those objects on a high cabinet shelf that your parent can't reach. Better yet, don't even tell your parent where they are.
Parent-proof the bathroom. The bathroom is often a trouble spot for many elderly parents. They'll likely be reluctant to admit that they need help in there. You can help them maintain their dignity and install items that make the bathroom easier. For instance, grab bars on the wall next to the toilet and the tub can prevent falls. Similarly, slip mats in your bathtub can also make falls less likely. You may want to get a shower seat and a booster seat for the toilet. Finally, put a picture of a toilet on the outside of the bathroom wall. This will help them find the bathroom if they're especially confused.
Use contrasting colors. Many people don't realize that Alzheimer's also affects vision. Many sufferers lose their depth perception and have a hard time distinguishing dark colors. Use bright contrasting colors for your home's curtains, rugs, and other decorative items. That will help your parents more easily navigate rooms and find their way around. It may not match your style, but it could prevent a serious trip and fall.
Decide whether you need outside help. Perhaps the biggest thing you can do is be honest with yourself about whether you can truly care for your parent full-time in addition to your other work and family responsibilities. For many people, that answer is no. Look into hiring a home care service like ComForcare - Chicago North Shore to come in and supplement the care that you provide. They can check on your parent while you're at work and help them take any medication that they need. The service may also provide some housekeeping work to ease your burden when you get home.
For more information, contact a home care service in your area. They can review your needs and help you find the right level of service for your budget.
I was badly injured a year ago, and it took a long time to get back to my normal level of ability. One of the things that helped more than anything was the time that I spent in physical therapy. I didn’t always love going to physical therapy – in fact, sometimes, I really didn’t enjoy it at all. But ultimately, the therapists and other patients I worked with helped inspire me to get better, and the exercises facilitated my healing process. I started this blog to talk about all of the things I learned about physical therapy and healing during my recovery time. I hope my blog reaches other accident victims. I want to offer encouragement, hope, and information for people who are in the same boat that I was in.