Keep someone with dementia safe at home

Online Staff Report

March is Patient Safety Awareness Month, and Passages Hospice has partnered with local nursing homes to promote resident and patient safety.

More than 34 million unpaid caregivers are active in the United States, helping a loved one with a serious illness at home. In addition, the Alzheimer’s Association estimates that 12 percent of people older than 65 have some level of dementia or memory loss.

Passages Hospice recommends the following tips to help make your home a safe place for someone with dementia or another serious illness.

1. Consider having a buzzer or alarm system on doors and windows. People with dementia often wander, and can put themselves in danger without realizing it.

2. Put locks on medicine cabinets, stoves and other dangerous places. Remember, someone whose memory is failing may not even realize what they are doing.

3. Keep a thorough health and medication history, and have it readily accessible. If your loved one has a medical emergency, you can save valuable time by providing the doctor with all the information he or she needs.

4. Give yourself a break. Caregiver exhaustion is common among people caring for a loved one at home. You will be a better caregiver if you have time to explore your own personal health. (Don’t forget to get enough sleep!)

5. Ask for help, if needed. Palliative care and hospice programs can provide experienced caregivers to supplement your own care. In addition, their programs offer support to you and other members of your family involved in the caregiving process.

Passages Hospice and Passages Palliative Care are available to help. Call 888-741-8985 to talk to a care team or visit for more details.

Posted March 20, 2013

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