Do you love someone who is fighting Alzheimer's right now? Do you provide care (either part time or full time) to someone who is fighting this battle? If the answer is yes, then you know that there are often safety concerns related specifically to this disease that are important to address, not only for the person suffering the disease, but also for the care giver & family.
In the beginning stages of this disease, many of the suggestions listed will seem too complicated to put into place, more of a hassle than they're worth, but as it progresses you'll find many of these to be helpful.
Locking doors. The first thing that comes to mind would be the entrance & exit doors. If someone has advanced to the stage of the disease where they are wandering a bit & often are not aware of their exact location, it is definitely time to implement this step. Lock the doors. Make sure that the lock is not one that they can overcome, but that the caregivers can use easily in case of emergency. Some of the most tragic circumstances with Alzheimer's patients can be avoided by following this simple step. It may feel like a heartless step, especially at first, when their freedoms are limited in this way, but their safety has to be your primary concern. You can help them when they're outside & make it a priority to help them enjoy life inside & outside, but only if they're safe. Also, locking doors of cabinets & drawers that contain things that could hurt them. Start with the knife drawers, chemical cabinets & progress as needed. This can be frustrating, especially for spouse caregivers, but is an important step to ensure that they do not harm themselves or others.
Remove locks. On other inside doors, you'll need to remove the locks that might cause issues. If a patient can lock themselves into a room that the caregiver cannot access, make sure that you modify the door handles in order to grant access.
Reduce the temperature of hot water. This is easily managed by turning down the high temp on the water heater. This can help to prevent accidental burns.
Proper footwear. Look for shoes & slippers that make it easier to walk without slipping. While you're at it, address slippery surfaces, tripping hazards etc. that can make it more difficult to walk inside & in walking areas around your yard. Look at everything from a new perspective & address the areas that might be a problem.
Appliance & tool check. If you have appliances that are hazardous for the patient to use on their own (the stove, for instance) you may have to modify them in order to be used by particular individuals. Remove knobs & store away. Put a lock on the oven door. It is even more challenging to do these things when the patient has been used to using the appliances their entire lives. They will not understand what is happening & will most likely find it unjust.
Two problem areas. The bathroom & the kitchen are probably going to be your biggest focus areas, because they both contain more dangerous items & are prone to becoming wet & slippery. Installing handicap bars, rubber mats & faucet covers in bathtubs can be a big help to reduce falls & make it easier for people to have independence for as long as possible.
Other general areas. While the kitchen & bathroom are the most common problem areas, think outside of the box for other areas of the house. Do you have a television that could fall on someone if they were seeing things that were not there & pulling it toward themselves? Consider anchoring it to a wall for safety. Do the same with bookshelves.
When these things are necessary, the patient will most likely not be alone & that is a comfort. There will be someone with them helping them through this time in their lives, but even a wonderful caregiver cannot be there at every second. Some of these things can help ensure autonomy & dignity, as well as safety, while you navigate this road together.