Did you know that June is National Safety Month?
That’s right, each and every June the National Safety Council holds “an annual observance to educate and influence behaviors around leading causes of preventable injuries and deaths.”
This year’s theme is Safety Starts with Me, an idea that Friends Place can certainly get behind.
The NSC announced that Safety Starts with Me was inspired by the pillar of Leadership and Employee Engagement from the Journey to Safety Excellence.
Because Friends Place was founded on a commitment to enabling individuals with Alzheimer’s and dementia to maintain a life of dignity, meaning and purpose – we’re always looking out for the physical well being of our members.
Though Alzheimer’s and dementia may primarily affect the mind, they certainly aren’t limited to it – as the diseases can affect the following areas in regards to safety (Alzheimer’s Association):
- Sense of time and place
- Physical ability
Prior to examining the specific safety concerns of your home, there are a few general guidelines you should review (National Institute of Aging):
- Think prevention
- Adapt the environment
- Minimize danger
Hazardous materials are locked or secured
The best place to start with think prevention – look at your home as someone with Alzheimer’s or dementia might look at it. Where is there the potential for injury? Are any hazardous or dangerous materials easily accessible? What about medication?
Emergency contacts and information are easily accessible
Keeping a list of the numbers for emergency services, family and friends as well as your home address near each phone should help add a level of comfort and security to your home and loved one.
All safety devices are working properly
Does your home have a fire extinguisher? Do your smoke detectors need new batteries?
Tripping hazards have been removed
As those affected by Alzheimer’s and dementia can sometimes be confused by their whereabouts, be sure to look out for anything that may cause them to trip or lose their balance and cause a fall.
While looking out for safety hazards should obviously be one of your most chief concerns, there are other, more proactive ways to create a home that promotes safety (WebMD):
- Use soothing colors around the house
- Have inspiring and happy photos around and highly visible
- Keep your home’s temperature nice and comfortable
For more information on Alzheimer’s and dementia home safety, we’d urge you to visit the following sites as well:
Also, be sure to take advantage of Friends Place’s in-house and online resource library – with valuable information on all topics relating to Alzheimer’s and dementia. Friends Place hosts the Alzheimer Association Caregiver Supper Groups on the second and fourth Sunday of each month from 2:00 to 3:30 pm.
Meetings are available to everyone and activities/day services are provided free of charge with reservations for family members of those attending support group.
Visit Friends Place on Facebook to stay up to date on all our events, resources and support groups.
About the Author
Pam Kovacs is owner/founder of Friends Place Adult Day Service. With more than 30 years of experience in the field of aging, Pam has extensive knowledge and training in all areas of Alzheimer’s and dementia. For more information on Pam and Friends Place’s Alzheimer’s programs, follow her on Google+ or Like Friends Place on Facebook.