All Areas of the Home
CHECK ALL CORDS
1. Are lamps, and electronic cords placed out of the flow of traffic? YES___ NO___
2. Are cords out from beneath furniture and rugs or carpeting? YES___ NO___
3. Are cords attached to the walls, baseboards, etc., with nails or staples? YES___ NO___
4. Are electrical cords in good condition, not frayed or cracked? YES___ NO___
5. Do extension cords carry more than their proper load, as indicated by the ratings labeled on the cord and the appliance? YES___ NO___
CHECK ALL RUGS, RUNNERS AND MATS
1. Are all small rugs and runners slip-resistant? YES___ NO___
2. Are emergency numbers posted on or near the telephone? YES___ NO___
3. Do you have access to a telephone if you fall (or experience some other emergency which prevents you from standing and reaching a wall phone)? YES___ NO___
CHECK SMOKE DETECTORS
1. Are smoke detectors properly located? YES___ NO___
2. Do you have properly working smoke detectors? YES___ NO___
CHECK ELECTRICAL OUTLETS AND SWITCHES
1. Are any outlets and switches unusually warm or hot to the touch? YES___ NO___
2. Do all outlets and switches have cover plates and no wiring is exposed? YES___ NO___
3. Are light bulbs the appropriate size and type for the lamp or fixture? YES___ NO___
CHECK SPACE HEATERS
1. Are heaters which come with a 3-prong plug being used in a 3-hole outlet or with a properly attached adapter? YES___ NO___
2. Are small stoves and heaters placed where they can not be knocked over, and away from furnishings and flammable materials, such as curtains or rugs? YES___ NO___
3. If your home has space heating equipment, such as a kerosene heater, a gas heater or an LP gas heater, do you understand the installation and operating instructions thoroughly? YES___ NO___
Review the installation and operating instructions. Call your local fire department if you have additional questions.
CHECK WOODBURNING HEATING EQUIPMENT
1. Is wood burning equipment installed properly? YES___ NO___
NOTE: Some insurance companies will not cover fire losses if wood stoves are not installed according to local codes.
CHECK THE EMERGENCY EXIT PLAN
1. Do you have an emergency exit plan and an alternate emergency exit plan in case of a fire? YES___ NO___
Develop an emergency exit plan. Choose a meeting place outside your home so you can be sure that everyone is capable of escape quickly and safely. Practice the plan from time to time to make sure everyone is capable of escape quickly and safely.
CHECK THE RANGE AREA
1. Are towels, curtains, and other things that might catch fire located away from the range? YES___ NO___
2. Do you wear clothing with short or close-fitting sleeves while you are cooking? YES___ NO___
3. Are kitchen ventilation systems or range exhausts functioning properly and are they in use while you are cooking? YES___ NO___
4. Are all extension cords and appliance cords located away from the sink or range areas? YES___ NO___
5. Does good, even lighting exist over the stove, sink, and counter top work areas, especially where food is sliced or cut? YES___ NO___
6. Do you have a step stool which is stable and in good repair? YES___ NO___
In the Living Room/Family Room
1. Are chimneys clear from accumulations of leaves, and other debris that can clog them? YES___ NO___
2. Has the chimney been cleaned within the past year? YES___ NO___
1. Are hallways, passageways between rooms, and other heavy traffic areas well lit? YES___ NO___
2. Install night lights. Reduce glare by using frosted bulbs, indirect lighting, shades or globes on light fixtures, or partially closing blinds or curtains. Consider using additional lamps or light fixtures. Make sure that the bulbs you use are the right type and wattage for the light fixture.
3. Are exits and passageways kept clear? YES___ NO___
Remember: Check the Living Room/Family Room and passageways for
all items under “All Areas of the Home” above.
In the Bathroom
CHECK BATHTUB AND SHOWER AREAS
1. Are bathtubs and showers equipped with non-skid mats, abrasive strips, or surfaces that are not slippery? YES___ NO___
2. Do bathtubs and showers have at least one (preferably two) grab bars? YES___ NO___
3. Is the temperature 120 degrees or lower? YES___ NO___
1. Is a light switch located near the entrance to the bathroom? YES___ NO___
CHECK SMALL ELECTRICAL APPLIANCES
1. Are small electrical appliances such as hair dryers, shavers, curling irons, etc., unplugged when not in use? YES___ NO___
1. Are all medicines stored in the containers that they came in and are they clearly marked? YES___ NO___
NOTE: Many poisonings occur when children visiting grandparents go through the medicine cabinet or grandmother’s purse. In homes where grandchildren or other youngsters are frequent visitors, medicines should be purchased in containers with child-resistant caps, and the caps properly closed after each use. Store medicines beyond the reach of children.
In the Bedrooms
CHECK AREAS AROUND BEDS
1. Are lamps or light switches within reach of each bed? YES___ NO___
2. Are ash trays, smoking materials, or other fire sources (heaters, hot plates, teapots, etc.) located away from beds or bedding? YES___ NO___
3. Is anything covering your electric blanket when in use? YES___ NO___
“Tucking in” electric blankets, or placing additional coverings on top of them can cause excessive heat buildup which can start a fire.
4. Do you avoid “tucking in” the sides or ends of your electric blanket? YES___ NO___
5. Do you ever go to sleep with a heating pad which is turned on? YES___ NO___
6. Is there a telephone close to your bed? YES___ NO___
In Basement/Garage/Workshop/Storage Areas
1. Are work areas, especially areas where power tools are used, well lit? YES___ NO___
2. Can you turn on the lights without first having to walk through a dark area? YES___ NO___
CHECK THE FUSE BOX OR CIRCUIT BREAKERS
1. If fuses are used, are they the correct size for the circuit? YES___ NO___
CHECK APPLIANCES AND POWER TOOLS
1. Are power tools equipped with a 3-prong plug or marked to show that they are double insulated? YES___ NO___
2. Are power tools guards in place? YES___ NO___
3. Has the grounding feature on any 3-prong plug been defeated by removal of the grounding pin or by improperly using an adapter? YES___ NO___
CHECK FLAMMABLE AND VOLATILE LIQUIDS
1. Are containers of volatile liquids tightly capped? YES___ NO___
* If not tightly closed, vapors may escape that may be toxic when inhaled. Check containers periodically to make sure they are tightly closed.
NOTE: CPSC has reports of several cases in which gasoline, stored as much as 10 feet from a gas water heater, exploded. Many people are unaware that gas fumes can travel that far.
2. Are gasoline, paints, solvents, or other products that give off vapors or fumes stored away from ignition sources? YES___ NO___
1. Are stairs well lighted? YES___ NO___
2. Are light switches located at both the top and bottom of the stairs? YES___ NO___
1. Do the steps allow secure footing? YES___ NO___
2. Are steps even and of the same size and height? YES___ NO___
3. Are the coverings on the steps in good condition? YES___ NO___
4. Can you clearly see the edges of the steps? YES___ NO___
5. Is anything stored on the stairway, even temporarily? YES___ NO___
Click Here for a free in-home safety assessment
Activities for People with Alzheimer’s Disease
Why Activities Help
Although activities don’t necessarily slow the progression of Alzheimer’s, activities do improve your loved one’s quality of life. Games, housework, and the other activities listed below can lessen agitation and depression. Activities can also help maintain motor skills that aid daily tasks such as buttoning a shirt or recognizing household objects. Projects that match a person’s skill level also give her a sense of ownership and independence. And when your loved one completes an activity, she gains a sense of accomplishment. Activities also help relieve a caregiver’s frustration by keeping the loved one stimulated and by fostering emotional connection and self expression. If you have a loved one that may benefit from our program and you live in the Colorado Springs area give us a call at 719-290-4072 or visit our website www.caringcompassion.com
We create meaningful activities. This is not about filling the day with busy work but, activities that your loved one used to do and enjoy.
-Assess skills. Can they sort objects by size or color? Can they button shirts and zip up jackets? Can they follow written commands? Modify activities to make them more or less challenging to fit the skills of your loved one.
-Play up past interests. People with Alzheimer’s often maintain old habits and abilities. Try adapting these skills into smaller and more manageable components. We create games based on their interests.
-Make activities failure free. If your loved one is involved and happy, don’t correct him. The goal is to engage the person with dementia and encourage a sense of success.
-Keep activities simple. Too many decisions may frustrate people with Alzheimer’s. Keep crowds and noise to a minimum.
-Give both verbal and visual instruction. Feel free to tell and to show. If your loved one is accepting, even guide his arms gently as you instruct.
-Activities that let your loved one manipulate materials. For people with advanced dementia, avoid small objects that might be swallowed.
-Select the best time of day for your loved one. More energy in the morning? Go for a walk. More focused in the afternoon? Try an art project.
-Keep the work area safe. Work with unbreakable plastics; keep the surface clean, uncluttered and well lit.
-Be prepared with alternate activities. If your loved one doesn’t connect with an activity, be sure to have another ready. Through trial and error, you’ll find activities that best suit your loved one.
And don’t be afraid to try something new, to see if it arouses curiosity.
-Repeat favorite activities, and establish a routine. Note the activities your loved one enjoys. Although the patient may not remember them the next time, she may repeat the processes instinctively. While doing familiar activities, such as sorting objects, keep the procedures the same, but try different content from day to day to keep it fresh for her and for you.
Activities Caring Compassion provides for our Alzheimer’s clients
Hobbies and Crafts
-Simplify old hobbies. For those who liked to knit, we use a simpler pattern. If they enjoy crossword puzzles, we use a jigsaw puzzle with large pieces.
-Garden together. Basic, repetitive tasks such as raking may fulfill your loved one, especially if he gardened in the past. Use herbs or other nontoxic plants that arouse multiple senses.
-Art. Paint with watercolors, draw with crayons. People with Alzheimer’s may not judge themselves as harshly as they once did, so they may finally free their inner artists.
Exercise helps everyone, including people with dementia, to maintain a healthy appetite, get a good night’s sleep and achieve a happy, endorphin-boosted outlook.
-Take a walk.
-Go for a swim.
-Participate in a yoga or tai chi class at your local community center. Simplify by picking only a couple of moves to try, or watch a yoga tape together.
-Visit a therapeutic garden. These provide walking paths, bird feeders accessible to those in wheelchairs, and sturdy furniture for older adults. Gardens provide a safe environment to reconnect with nature, get a little exercise and absorb some vitamin D.
-Sorting games. Sort objects by color, shape or design. Infuse the game with your loved one’s favorite hobbies. For example, baseball fans can sort cards by team or position. If your loved one enjoyed carpentry, have him match tools with their names.
-Play ball. Use balloons or large, soft balls to play catch.
Shopping scavenger hunt: Collect sales ads from newspapers with your loved one. While you travel the aisles with your loved one, give her a list of items to search for in the grocery store. Up the ante and search for items with the lowest cost.
-Solve puzzles. Create jigsaw puzzles from family photos. Cut them into two or three large pieces to start. You can divide the photo into more pieces to make the activity more challenging.
Shuffle a prayer. Type lines of their favorite prayer on separate pieces of paper for re-ordering.
-Daily Tasks and Chores
Read together. Read the paper or book with large print. Take turns, and have fun.
-Bake together. Pick simple recipes for cookies, muffins and pancakes. Put him in charge of part of the recipe or an easier task, such as stirring.
-Clean up together. Ask your loved one to help you around the house. By doing simple tasks such as wiping off the table, sweeping the patio, washing the silverware, folding towels or simply holding open the trash bag as you put things into it, she becomes part of a team. Remember that she may not perform the tasks to perfection, but it is the process that is important.
By helping others, you can help your loved one combat feelings of uselessness.
-Start a food drive. Collect canned goods and other nonperishable items from your neighbors or grocery store. Get your loved one involved, whether she selects the items or helps you load the bags.
-Participate in a toy drive. Collect, wrap and take the toys together to a women’s shelter or orphanage.
-Talk about old times. We encourage your loved one to remember a favorite summer, first day of school or wedding day. Keep in mind, though, that painful memories may also resurface.
-Watch family videos. Pull out old movies or make a new one where family members discuss their fondest memories of your loved one.
-Go through photo albums. Old pictures can trigger pleasant memories.
-Watch a favorite movie or TV show from their past.
-Go through a box of trinkets from their life.
-Write down family stories. Keep a book of the memories your loved one has related, and ask her to read it to the grandchildren.
Some music therapists have found that adults with advanced Alzheimer’s often respond to music, and especially music from their past. In fact, researchers have found that the ability to process music remains intact into the late stages of the disease.
-Trigger old memories. Play their favorite hymn, music from their youth or well-known popular songs of their day. Make a CD of their favorite songs.
-Dance. If they enjoyed dancing, they probably still do, or at least will respond to the sight of others dancing.
-Sing along. People with Alzheimer’s often retain melodies and words to popular songs. Print out the words to a song and sing along with a CD. Or sing with a group while someone plays a piano or guitar.
Here’s a source of unconditional love. Pets convey their needs in ways that everyone, including people with Alzheimer’s, easily understands, and they provide comfort. Relax by watching birds from a window or fish in an aquarium.
-Remember that as Alzheimer’s advances, your loved one will retain all of his or her senses.
-Talk to him. While your loved one may not respond, this doesn’t mean that he is not aware of your presence.
-Comb her hair.
-Moisturize her skin.
-Shave his face.
-Give her a manicure or a hand massage with scented oil.
-Give her dolls with zippers and buttons to play with or soft teddy bears, textured cloth, or fur to stroke.
CONTACT US FOR MORE INFORMATION
Caring Compassion Home Health Care
2345 Academy Place Suite 205b
Colorado Springs, Co 80909
By Carole Larkin
Alzheimer’s Reading Room
Ever feel like your loved one is ignoring you or that you just weren’t getting through to your loved one? Try some of these tips to see if they help.
Make eye contact. Always approach them face-to-face and make eye contact. Use their name if you need to. It is vital that they actually see you and that their attention is focused on you. Read their eyes. Always approach from the front as approaching and speaking from the side or from behind can startle them.
Be at their level. Move your head to be at the same level as their head. Bend your knees or sit down to reach their level. Do not stand or hover over them – it is intimidating and scary. They can’t focus on you and what you are saying if they are focused on their fear.
Tell them what you are going to do before you do it. Particularly if you are going to touch them. They need to know what is coming first so that they don’t think that you are grabbing them.
Speak calmly. Always speak in a calm manner with an upbeat tone of voice, even if you don’t feel that way. If you sound angry or agitated, they will often mirror that feeling back to you and then some.
Speak slowly. Speak at one half of your normal speed when talking to them. Take a breath between each sentence. They can not process words as fast as non-diseased people can. Give them a chance to catch up to your words.
Speak in short sentences. Speak in short direct sentences with only one idea to a sentence. Usually they can only focus on only one idea at a time.
Only ask one question at a time. Let them answer it before you ask another question. You can ask who, what, where and when, but NOT why. Why is too complicated. They will try to answer, fail and get frustrated.
Don’t say “remember”. Many times they will not be able to do so, and you are just pointing out to them their shortcomings. That is insulting, and can cause anger and/or embarrassment.
Turn negatives into positives. For example say “Let’s go here” instead of “Don’t go there”. Be inclusive and don’t talking down to them as if they were a child. Respect the fact that they are an adult, and treat them as such.
Do not argue with them. It gets you nowhere. Instead, validate their feelings, by saying” I see that you are angry (sad, upset, etc…). It lets them know that they are not alone and then redirect them into another thought. For example “It sounds like you miss your mother (husband, father, etc…). You love them very much, don’t you? Tell me about the time…” Then ask for one of their favorite stories about that person).
Resources on a local and national level for helping family caregivers. The resources here provide caregiver support, advice and tips for taking care of yourself. Please e-mail us if there is another great source that is not on this list.
Caregiver Action Network Information, education, and support for caregivers Phone: 301-942-6430 http://www.caregiveraction.org
Eldercare Locator – Area Agencies on Aging (AAAs)
Spanish-speaking information specialists are available
National Center on Caregiving (NCC) at Family Caregiver Alliance (FCA)
Adult Resources for Care and Help (ARCH)
Division of Aging and Adult Services:
Colorado Area Agencies on Aging (AAAs)
To be connected to your local AAA Within Colorado, call:
Outside Colorado call:
TTY: (303) 866-2850
Network of Care
Online directory of aging and caregiver support services, which can be searched by category.
Home and Community Based Waiver-Elderly, Blind and Disabled Persons
Government program assists low-income adults who require nursing level of care remain in the community by helping to pay for home and community based services including:
• Adult day care
• Personal emergency response system
• Home modifications
• In-home support services (IHSS)
• Non-medical transportation
• Personal care
Also, assists residents of nursing homes return to the community, if they are able to do so safely, by managing the transition and providing the appropriate community based services.
*Consumer Directed Attendant Support (CDAS) is an option of the Home and Community Based Waiver program which allows care receivers to choose and hire their own service provider including a relative or friend to provide the care they need.
Consumer Directed Attendant Support:
TTY: (800) 659-265
Rocky Mountain Human Services
Non-profit organization assists people with disabilities remain independent in their communities.Also manages the Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) Trust Fund program that provides financial assistance to people with TBI for the purchase of home and community based services.
TDD: (303) 636-5602 www.rmhumanservices.org/
AARP (Online Resources)
A consumer organization for people 50 years and older. Provides online information about issues related to aging
Access to Health Insurance / Resources for Care
Online resource that provides information on low-cost and affordable health insurance, health care, and hospice. It is a free service from the Actors’ Fund of America’s Health Insurance Resource Center.
Ext. 265 http://www.ahirc.org/
Online directory of aging and caregiver support services.
Provides information and planning tips about long-term care and caregiving. Its website includes a “Find Facilities and Services” search tool to help consumers find long-term care housing, caregiver support, hospice and palliative care programs and other aging services. Offers a “Caregiver Kit” to help caregivers.
See webpage for local contact information www.agis.com/
Provides reliable information, care consultation and supportive services for dementia caregivers through state and local chapters. The website also includes an interactive tool, CareFinder, which helps families to:
• Recognize dementia care
• Plan and pay for care
• Communicate with care providers
• Find local support and resources
24 hours 7 days a week
American Red Cross – Family Caregiver Training Program
Local Red Cross chapters offer in-person educational sessions for eldercare giving.
ARCH National Respite Network
Online “Respite Locator” is a service to help families and professionals locate respite services in their community from a database of nearly 3,000 members.
Provides online information and support to family caregivers, including a resource that helps to identify and locate caregiver support groups and other caregiver resources in specific counties, including non-profit organizations, rural caregiver resources and products and services.
(800) 829-2734 www.caregiver.com
Caregivers Marketplace-eldercare products
Provides information about a variety of caregiving topics. Also provides access to geriatric care specialists.
Eldercare Consultants: 773-508-1015 http://www.caregivinghelp.org
Information and support for caregivers as they care for aging parents, spouses, and other loved ones 50+.
Talk to a Family Adviser for free: (866) 824-8174 http://www.caring.com
A program of the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization that offers free resources and information (online and over the phone) about end-of-life care and services. Includes information about:
HelpLine in Spanish: (877) 658-8896 http://www.caringinfo.org
Children of Aging Parents
An online support group for adults caring for their parents or other relatives. Also provides a list of in-person support groups in different states.
(800) 227-7294 http://www.caps4caregivers.org
Offers over 500 online support communities and information exchange on a variety of health and wellness issues, including caregiving.
Family Caregiving 101
An online information, resources and advice on topics related to family caregiving, including personal stories from family caregivers and encouragement for caregivers to protect their own physical and mental health.
This organization offers educational programs, connective social activities, emotional support, and inter-generational programming designed to help you navigate through your community’s continuum of care. Designed to ensure families have access to new, supportive settings created for the purpose of educating, empowering and energizing.
(888) 655-3392 (888 OK LEEZA)
Lotsa Helping Hands
An online volunteer coordination service for friends, family, colleagues, and neighbors to assist older adults in need. Offers a private group calendar to organize meals delivery, rides, and other caregiving tasks for a loved one.
National Center on Caregiving (NCC) at Family Caregiver Alliance (FCA)
Offers a national telephone hotline, online resources and printed publications which serve as a central source of information and assistance to family caregivers in every state. (800) 445-8106 www.caregiver.org
National Volunteer Caregiving Network (Faith In Action)
The National Volunteer Caregiving Network (NVCN) provides technical assistance, educational webinars, national conferences, information and referral, and mentorship, among other benefits for member organizations.
Share The Care
Offers a handbook to empower caregivers, concerned friends and neighbors with steps to create and maintain a “caregiving family” to support the ill, disabled or aging and their family caregiver. Scripted first meeting, 23 forms. Telephone and email support.
(212) 991-9688 http://www.sharethecare.org
Strength for Caring
online resource and community for family caregivers offers articles and advice, including an extensive caregiver manual.
Well Spouse Association
A national, non-profit membership organization that provides support to wives, husbands, and partners of the chronically ill and/or disabled through established support groups in communities all over the country.
Working moms for nurses blog Fill out the contact form below if you would like to be added to the e-mail list
Caring Compassion Home Heath Care is going to create new blog entitled working moms (nurses). It will be a blog written by myself Heather Newman Owner/LPN and our nursing staff we will be including stories and experiences of working a high stress job as a nurse and a mother. Come see us soon to read the articles written by our own CCHC staff