Families with a dementia sufferer need to put in place safety measures in order to avert any avoidable accidents that are likely to occur as that patient is using the bathroom. This article discusses some tips that you should consider implementing in case a family member has dementia.
Remove Weak Items
People who are falling have a tendency to grab anything within reach in order to break their fall. It is therefore crucial that you inspect your bathroom so that you identify anything that a falling person may grab at. Remove all the items that are not strong enough to support the weight of someone falling. Such items may include towel bars and freestanding soap dishes. Only leave items, such as grab bars, that were designed to support a person's weight.
Install an Alarm
Another helpful measure that you can take is to install a leak or flood-alarm system in your bathroom. Such an alarm system will alert other family members quickly in case the dementia patient is at risk of drowning when he or she is stuck in an overflowing bathtub.
The mirrors in a bathroom may cause a dementia sufferer to become confused or afraid when he or she sees his or her image in those mirrors. Such a patient may panic and get involved in an accident as he or she tries to flee from the bathroom. It is therefore advisable for you to install a curtain or roll-up blinds over the mirrors so that other family members can expose the mirrors each time they need to use them. This is a better alternative to removing the mirrors from the bathroom.
Improve Bathroom Storage
Hygiene and cleaning products should be kept in a secure location so that the dementia sufferer doesn't accidentally misuse them, such as in the case of using the glass cleaner as a shower gel. Install open shelving systems so that someone assisting the dementia sufferer can identify all the products or items that are stored in the bathroom at a glance.
It may not be necessary to incur the cost of a major bathroom renovation in order to make that space safer for a dementia sufferer. Ask an experienced plumber in your area to advise you about any other simple changes that you can make in addition to implementing the tips above. His or her professional input will help you to implement the needed changes without spending more money than is necessary.
Talk to a company such as A and C Plumbing for more ideas about how to make your home safer for your loved one with dementia.