Creating a Safe Space for Seniors with Memory Diseases
In creating a safe space for someone with a memory disease, here are a couple of things you should keep in mind. Routine is good. If we can keep the care receiver in a routine of doing very similar things on a daily basis, it may become habit and therefore somewhat easier for the care receiver to mimic. Routine is very helpful for people who have different types of memory issues.
As falls are so important for seniors to eliminate and people with memory issues can struggle with balance and walking at some point, it is important to keep walkways open and unobstructed. When you have walkways open and free, the care receiver can see where to place their feet and they can see if there is a hazard in the way. We recommend that rugs are taken up and that cords are moved to the perimeter of the room as to not cause a tripping hazard. Anything smaller than a two feet square should be removed from the floor if possible.
Additionally, oven and stove monitors are recommended. It is not uncommon for a care receiver to turn on a stove or oven and completely walk away never to return to check on it. The care receiver has a brain disease causing a memory issue. The care receiver should not have use or access to the stove or oven. It also extremely important that the care receiver does not have access to car keys. The care receiver can literally get into the car, drive 200 miles away without an accident and have no idea they have done so. They wont know where they are. Where they live and frequently they cant remember the names of the people they live with. This type of situation can be tragic if not monitored.
Lastly and most importantly the care receiver needs is patience and dignity. They will repeat themselves. They will not remember everything. And frequently, the words they remember most and easiest are the nasty words. We always advise our caregivers that they person is not being nasty. It’s the disease being nasty. The person has no control over what they say and how they say. Especially if they’re sundowning which has nothing to do with the sun.
These are just a few of the issues and opportunities to assist a person with a memory issue or brain disease. For more information, please visit us at GoldenHeartScottsdale.com.