The garage can be a hotbed of danger for your senior if she’s dealing with dementia. Keeping her safe might be as simple as securing some specific items, or it might mean doing something a little more involved. But you don’t want to overlook the garage itself.
Think Safety, Just Like Elsewhere in the House
Safety is the biggest concern in every room of the house, but it might look different in the garage. You want to make sure that there are plenty of handrails and that the lighting is effective. It might also be a good idea to put down some padded floor coverings that can soften any stumbles. But there may be other things you need to think about, too beyond general safety.
Lock up Anything That’s Dangerous
If there are any dangerous chemicals or tools, those need to be secured somehow. A locking cabinet is the best option, especially if that cabinet is up high where your senior can’t reach the contents. The types of items you might need to secure could include obvious items, like gasoline or paint, but you might also want to keep cleaning supplies locked up, too. Anything that’s sharp or that could be a hazard may need securing as well.
Consider a Non-descript Car Cover
Many people with dementia are able to drive in the early stages, but as the disease progresses, driving is not a safe idea. That doesn’t mean that her desire to drive has left, though, and if your senior’s car is still in the garage, seeing the car can spark that urge to drive. For your peace of mind and your senior’s safety, getting a car cover that disguises the car as something else can be incredibly helpful.
Could You Block Access to the Garage Completely?
Something else to consider is that it might make more sense at some point to simply block access to the garage itself. If your elderly family member really has no reason to access the garage, it might be best to secure the door with a lock high on the door or with a keyed deadbolt.
It's never a good feeling to have to do something drastic in order to keep your senior safer. Having help from senior care providers can help you to keep these kinds of decisions in perspective. They can help to make sure that your senior is safe when you’re not there, too.