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NIA Tips for Alzheimer’s Caregivers
As part of celebrating Older Americans Month in May, the National Institute on Aging is offering general principles for caregivers of a person with Alzheimer’s disease as part of this year’s theme: “Safe Today, Healthy Tomorrow.”
NIA’s Alzheimer’s Disease Education and Referral Center offers these general principles to keep a senior with dementia safe:
Check the safety of a home on a regular basis to help get control of some potential problems that could create hazardous situations.
Adapt the Environment
It’s most effective to change the environment rather than attempt to change behaviors. The NIA recommends that if a person with Alzheimer’s is prone to wandering, place “Stop,” “Do Not Enter” or “Closed” signs on doors in strategic areas. Additionally, keep keys, shoes, suitcases, coats, hats and other signs of departure out of sight.
When you minimize danger you maximize independence. A safe environment should be a less restrictive environment for an Alzheimer’s patient. For example, the NIA recommends removing or locking anything that is potentially hazardous such as medicines, alcohol and cleaning supplies.
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