It is important to make sure the home of someone who has dementia is safe for them.
Wandering can be a serious problem in people who have more advanced dementia. These tips may help prevent wandering:
To prevent harm when someone with dementia does wander:
Inspect the person’s house, and remove or reduce hazards for tripping and falling. See also: Preventing falls
Do not leave a person who has advanced dementia alone in the home.
Lower the temperature of the hot water tank. Remove or lock up cleaning products and other items that may be poisonous.
Make sure the kitchen is safe.
Remove, or store in locked areas:
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Smith DA, Brechtelsbauer DA. Delirium and dementia. In: Rakel RE, ed. Textbook of Family Medicine. 8th ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Saunders Elsevier; 2011:chap 48.
Moore, HD, Algase DL, Powell-Cope G, Appelgarth S, Beattie ER. A framework for managing wandering and preventing elopement. Am J Alzheimers Dis Other Demen. 2009 Jun-Jul;24(3):208-19.
Dave J, Hecht M. Dementia. In: Frontera, WR, Silver JK, Rizzo TD Jr, eds. Essentials of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation. 2nd ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Saunders Elsevier; 2008:chap 119.
Petersen RC. Mild cognitive impairment. N Engl J Med. 2011;364:2227-2234.
Updated by: Linda J. Vorvick, MD, Medical Director and Director of Didactic Curriculum, MEDEX Northwest Division of Physician Assistant Studies, Department of Family Medicine, UW Medicine, School of Medicine, University of Washington. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M. Health Solutions, Ebix, Inc.
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