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Dementia makes it difficult for seniors to remember things or think logically, but this condition does more than just affect the brain. Elderly people with dementia also have a greater chance of getting into accidents that harm them physically. Dementia can make it challenging for seniors to maintain their balance and coordination skills, so falls are common. If you have a senior loved one with dementia, take the following preventative measures to help him or her avoid falling and getting hurt.
1. Remove Tripping Hazards Inside the Home
Seniors with dementia normally have difficulty noticing things like electrical cords, rugs, footstools, or clutter on the ground. Make sure to keep the floors in the home as smooth and clutter-free as possible. Move furniture to create wide, open pathways along areas your loved one frequently walks through. Place a nonslip backing on any rugs or mats to lessen the chances of your loved one tripping over something he or she doesn’t notice.
2. Address Medication Side Effects
Many of the medications used to treat dementia symptoms cause dizziness, so they can greatly increase the risk of falls. If your loved one is experiencing this side effect, talk to his or her doctor about finding an alternative medication. Seniors who absolutely must take medications that cause dizziness should try to take them when they’ll be sitting or lying down for a while to reduce the risk of falls.
Aging in place can present a few challenges for seniors living with dementia. However, they can still live independently at home with the help of professional dementia care. Albuquerque families can rely on Home Care Assistance to provide their elderly loved ones with mental and social stimulation, timely medication reminders, assistance with meal prep, and much more. Our caregivers are available around the clock to help your loved one live a happier and healthier life.
3. Reduce the Need for Wandering
When seniors with dementia feel like they have an unmet need, they tend to wander around in confusion looking for vague locations or objects. Seniors who wander into unfamiliar places have a much higher risk of falling. Try to keep important things such as glasses, water, favorite jewelry, or hobby materials right near your loved one so he or she can remain safely seated instead of getting up to search for these items.
If your loved one wanders often, you may want to consider hiring a trustworthy home care agency. One of the most challenging tasks of helping an elderly relative age in place safely and comfortably is researching agencies that provide senior care. Albuquerque families can turn to Home Care Assistance for reliable, high-quality in-home care for aging adults. We offer 24-hour live-in care for seniors who require extensive assistance, and we also offer respite care for family caregivers who need a break from their caregiving duties.
4. Use Bright Colors to Define Changes in Elevation
When objects are similarly colored, it can be difficult for a senior with dementia to differentiate between them, which can be an issue when the stairs and floor have the same carpet or a threshold is made of the same wood as the floor. You can use a strip of material in a bright, contrasting color to mark any differences in elevation throughout the home, but make sure the strip is thin and firmly attached to the ground.
5. Keep Things Well Lit
Seniors with dementia may have visual issues that cause disorientation. To make things a little easier for your loved one, use bright lighting that reduces shadows and illuminates dim areas in the house. You might want to consider installing motion sensors so the lights go on as soon as your loved one approaches an area.
Seniors with dementia have an increased likelihood of falling. If you follow the steps above, you might be able to lessen your loved one’s risk of injury. There are a variety of age-related health conditions that can make it more challenging for seniors to live independently. However, many of the challenges they face can be easier to manage if their families opt for professional elder care. Albuquerque families can rely on expertly trained caregivers to keep their loved ones safe and comfortable while aging in place. If your loved one needs help with the challenges of aging, call one of our compassionate Care Managers today at 505-798-0800.