Nursing homes have the duty to keep their residents safe, especially those suffering from a form of dementia like Alzheimer’s disease. Some homes are not suitable for people in cognitive decline, but if a home does claim to provide a sanctuary for dementia residents, you should feel confident that a senior relative of yours will receive proper treatment there.
Responsible memory care units take steps to minimize injury risks for residents. U.S. News and World Report provides a look at safety measures you may see in a properly maintained memory care location.
Security measures to prevent wandering
A dementia patient may feel the urge to wander, perhaps to fulfill some old need such as going home or to work. You might notice that a home has a security code on its elevators or doors. This helps keep residents from leaving the home or walking into an unsafe location.
Lack of electrical or hot devices
People with dementia generally lack the ability to use appliances such as stoves or curling irons with proper care and handling. If a home allows residents to use a kitchen, some items that use fire or heat may be absent for the sake of residents.
Removal of sharp objects
You probably think nothing of having a pair of scissors handy in your home. However, a dementia patient may not be able to use sharp tools without risk of injury. As a result, you will probably notice an absence of common cutting tools in places in bedrooms or places where residents gather.
Pay attention to other needs
Basic safety measures for dementia patients are important, but a nursing home should take other steps to promote wellness. Be sure that the home staff can provide your loved one with a proper diet. Care workers should be alert to signs that a resident is in pain. Memory care workers should also keep dementia patients engaged and minimize isolation.
You may find a location that takes good care of your elderly relative. However, in the event a home neglects or abuses your loved one, you might consider legal options.