Helping to reduce risk for dementia sufferers

Senior man looking after sick wife
Senior man looking after sick wife

The Public Health Agency (PHA), in conjunction with Mid Ulster Council, is offering advice on how people living with dementia can reduce their risk of having an accident in the home.

“Safety in the home is important to everyone, but living with a diagnosis of dementia can in some cases add to the concern of keeping people safe in their own home environment,” said Hilary Johnston, Regional Lead for Home Accident Prevention with the PHA.

“People with dementia should be supported and empowered to better understand the risks within the home so that they can remain independent and live well and safely with dementia in their own home for as long as possible.”

Families and carers of those living with dementia should explain clearly all the hazards within the home and ensure the person with dementia is actively involved in all discussions.

All potential risks within the home should be highlighted and suitable preventative measures put in place to help reduce the occurrences of accidents in the home.

Simple tips such as writing notes about turning off electrical appliances and gas cookers or having emergency phone numbers in large print beside the telephone all help in some way to reassure those living with dementia.

People with dementia, and those aged over 65 years, are entitled to free home safety checks provided by Home Safety Officers from local district councils.

“This is a great way to ensure homes are safe and only takes around 60 minutes to complete for a client with dementia,” said Hilary Johnston.

“The checks offer tips on all aspects of home safety. Referrals can also be provided to other services on issues like heating and home energy efficiency.”

For more information on how to avail of home safety checks please contact Environmental Health at Mid Ulster District Council on 03000 132 132, or visit the NI Direct website.