Memory problems, particularly ones related to dementia or to Alzheimer’s disease, can rob your senior of so much that she’s used to handling on her own. At particular risk can be her safety because there’s so much that just might not seem dangerous to her anymore.
General Safety Around the House
Staying on top of general safety issues is paramount if your aging family member has memory issues. These may be things that she’s aware of on some level, but forgets to mention or forgets can be a problem. Check that her lights are functional. Make sure that handrails are secure. Take care of clutter whenever you can. Anything else that you can think of, add it to the list. If you’re doing regular safety sweeps, you should be able to stay on top of potential issues before there’s a true problem.
Take Stock of Any Household Chemicals
Another area you might want to pay very close attention to could be household chemicals. These are often chemicals that your senior may have been perfectly fine around for most of her life, but now it could be easy to forget what is safe to do with them and what isn’t. Even something as simple as window-cleaner can be distracting because of the unusual colors. It’s best to try to secure these if possible.
Your Senior’s Refrigerator May Need Some Help
Very often people with memory issues have difficulties with food. Your elderly family member may stop cleaning out her refrigerator, which can leave leftovers continuing to grow bacteria. Memory problems can also create a situation in which she starts to believe that those foods are perfectly fine for her to eat, which is not necessarily the case. She may forget to look at expiration dates, too. If you’re cleaning out her fridge regularly, that can solve the majority of that problem.
Doors, Drawers, and Cabinets Might Be an Issue
If your aging family member has extremely severe memory problems, then anything that can hold other things, like drawers and cabinets, might be something that can open doors to other issues for her. Using household safety locks can be an excellent solution. You may also want to reduce the likelihood that your senior might wander away. Putting special locks or alarms on exterior doors can be a good idea.
Keeping your senior safe can feel like a full-time job in itself as a caregiver. Having some extra help frees you up to handle other situations as they crop up. Elder care providers can also help your senior with other tasks, like personal care tasks and activities that help her to stay physically and mentally active.