A rumble or a dull crack that tears you from sleep. Caring relatives of people with alzheimer's disease are only too familiar with the moments of horror: The affected family member has lost his way to the toilet in the house during the night, has come across a door - in the worst case, even fallen. In Alzheimer's patients not an isolated case, because lack of orientation or Gehunsicherheit the patient in a domestic environment is a great danger.
Care mostly by relatives
Two-thirds of all Alzheimer's patients are cared for by a family member at home. In this case, an advanced stage of the disease requires much attention from their caregiver. Memory disorders and orientation difficulties complicate everyday life. "Short distances from the bedroom to the bathroom are no longer found or forget the boiling pasta water on the stove, " explains expert Dr. med. med. Maria Grossfeld-Schmitz.
The doctor is working on the IDA initiative, which is currently conducting a study to better care for dementia patients and their relatives in Middle Franconia. "At an advanced stage of disease, precautions and changes in the home environment are necessary, " says the doctor. "They give the sufferer and relatives more security and, of course, at the same time facilitate the coexistence of the whole family."
More safety for Alzheimer's patients
Basically, the entire living space must be brightly lit. This helps Alzheimer's patients to cope better and maintain a degree of independence.
- Particular attention should be paid to night lighting on the way from the bedroom to the toilet, where people can orientate themselves.
- In order not to increase the walking safety of patients, stairs and floors in the house should be equipped with non-slip coverings, loose carpets and runners should be secured by non-slip pads.
- Special attention is paid to windows and doors. So that Alzheimer's patients can not leave the house unnoticed, windows should only be tilted and secured like house and balcony door by suitable locks. Also, generally no keys should get stuck in the doors. The person concerned may still be able to lock the door but may not be able to open it.
- In the bathroom in the area of the shower, bath and toilet are solid grab handles for security indispensable. Also, a chair in the shower often proves to be safer and more practical than a bathtub.
- In the kitchen, it is important to secure gas or electric stoves with automatic shut-off valves, gas detectors or temperature detectors. Detergents and cleaners should be stored in a safe place so that patients do not confuse them with drinks.
"These are just a few important measures that make life easier for the sick and family caregiver, but only changes to the home that are necessary at the patient's stage of illness should always be carried out, " says IDA doctor. Large field Schmitz. "This is the only way for patients to retain their existing skills and independence."
Support in Alzheimer care
Through her work with the initiative Dementia Care in General Medicine, the doctor knows that counseling and support of family caregivers and patients are important and necessary in many areas. This is where IDA comes in and wants to put the family doctor in a position to offer counseling services for relatives in addition to his medical services.