Early-stage Alzheimer’s disease doesn’t just affect one person- it can impact a whole family. Suddenly, family members are launched into an unfamiliar role and have to cope with their new situation. Thankfully, in the early stages, there is still time to plan for the future with loved ones. Here are some tips from Alzheimer’s Family Center’s social worker team for when you’re coping with your new role as a caregiver.
Falls are common among seniors, but they are NOT a normal part of aging and CAN be prevented!
Traci Roundy and the Alzheimer’s Family Center’s nursing team have listed 5 easy steps to prevent falls for your loved one.
1. Keep Your Home Safe
-Remove clutter and tripping hazards, provide easy access to adjoining rooms, keep bedside items within easy reach, and ensure pets are not under foot.
-Quickly clean up messes, especially liquid and food messes that cause slippery floors.
-Use adequate lighting.
2. Optimize Balance
-Look to build balance, strength, and flexibility. See a physical therapist for exercise routine at home.
-Ensure your loved one stays active and on a nutritious diet.
-Use properly fitting non slip, closed toe, closed heel shoes.
-Make sure your loved one has both hands free when ambulating. Carrying a purse or bag causes and increases fall risk.
3. Use Appropriate Assistive Device
-Get a Physical Therapy evaluation and Physical Therapy services to assist with strengthening.
-Consistently use the assistive device recommended by the physical therapist or physician (walker, wheel chair, cane).
-Using an assistive device takes practice and reminders. Be patient with your loved one.
4. Meet Your Loved One Needs
-When caring for a memory-impaired person, you are the eyes and ears. Monitor your loved one for alertness, monitor surroundings, and take your time.
-Provide bathroom reminders and assistance.
5. Regularly Review Medications
-Ensure medications side effects aren’t increasing your loved one’s risks of falling.
-Administer medications only as prescribed.