Tim Tholen, CEO and Founder of Thoughtful Health Care and its affiliates in Kansas City welcomed Chief of Prairie Village Police, Tim Schwartzkopf and Dr. James Birch, Jr., Associate Professor of Family Medicine at The University of Kansas School of Medicine as guests to speak in the livestream video “Preventing Wandering and Promoting Safety.” These experts spoke with Tim about preventing incidents and handling safety issues both inside and outside of the home.
Safety Begins in the Home
Professionals agree, prevention is the best way to handle safety issues. When a diagnosis of dementia is received, act quickly to identify risks by following several steps:
- Check the home for fall risks. Loose rugs, cords that are in the way, items on the floor that can’t be seen—all fall hazards should be removed to avoid a trip to the hospital.
- Install grip bars where needed to help getting around the bathroom easier.
- Prevent fires by removing knobs on kitchen appliances.
- Make sure that proper hygiene is being maintained—this is an indicator that a loved one is able to take care of him or herself.
- Foods in the refrigerator should be fresh and consumable.
- Medications should be taken as directed. If not, medication management could be a problem.
- Install alarms or cameras to be sure the loved one is okay when the caregiver is away.
Safety Outside of the Home
Wandering and being out and about are risks for people who have dementia. There are technologies that can be a help, such as GPS apps for the loved one’s phone. But there is no guarantee that the loved one will remember to take the phone on a regular basis.
Alert the Sheriff’s Office to let them know that a person at a particular address has dementia. Tell neighbors to keep an eye out. Install an alarm on the door to alert a caregiver if the person with dementia has left the house.
When the problems outweigh the solutions, it’s an indicator that your loved one may need more care. Our professional caregivers at Thoughtful Care are here to support your family in caring for a loved one at home. Please feel free to contact us for more information.
Watch the “Preventing Wandering and Promoting Safety” video below:
For more information about Thoughtful Care visit the Thoughtful Care website.