Safety becomes a major priority with cognitive impairment as the person can no longer use good judgment. The following list has many things that should be considered when providing care in the home for someone with dementia.
Place deadbolts either high or low on exterior doors to make it difficult for the person to wander out of the house. Keep an extra set of keys hidden near the door for easy access.
Consider a Medi-Alert bracelet or necklace.
Never lock a confused person in the home alone.
Remove locks from inside doors such as the bathroom and bedroom.
If you live on the second floor or higher, place dowel rods in slider tracks to prevent windows or doors from being opened more than 6-8 inches. Depth perception is lost and people can fall out of windows or off balconies.
Keep the water heater at a temperature that won't burn skin.
Install a child gate or some other barrier at open stairwells.
Keep walkways clear.
Remove area/throw rugs; persons with a shuffling walk may more readily trip or fall.
Take knobs off the stove.
Use kid-proof locks to store medications, cleaning supplies and other toxic household goods safely.
Install safety grips and bars in the shower and use a shower chair.
Give reminders for the use of canes and walkers for decreased motor function.
Remove and disable guns. Store away power tools and sharps such as knives, scissors, razors, and saws.
Place tape “X”s on, or label or decorate plate glass windows and glass sliding doors.
Do not allow this person to drive. Many persons with cognitive impairment don't realize they can no longer safely drive due to poor judgment, slowed reflexes, physical weakness, or sensory deficits. If it is too volatile for you to discuss with the person, ask the doctor to notify the DMV and tell the person they cannot drive. Disable the vehicle if needed.