For someone with Alzheimer's disease, safety becomes tremendously important. As her caregiver, it falls on you to implement some of these ideas as soon as you can.
Keep Emergency Phone Numbers Accessible
In an emergency, your senior may remember that she should call someone, but she may not remember what number to call. Depending on the nature of the emergency, she could be shaken enough that even in the very early stages of Alzheimer's she doesn't remember who to call. Clearly label names, emergency agency names, and phone numbers and make sure they're easy to read. Store a list near every phone.
Consider Turning Ringers Off
Something else that you might want to consider regarding phones is to turn the ringer off. This can be especially important during later stages of Alzheimer's disease when your elderly family member might be more easily confused by people she talks to over the phone. Turning off the ringer reduces that likelihood.
Be Extra Diligent about Smoke Alarms and Carbon Monoxide Detectors
It's a good idea to test smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors monthly anyway, but if your senior has Alzheimer's disease it's even more important. People with Alzheimer's disease can be more prone to forgetting to turn off burners or engaging in other activities that could make these detectors even more crucial. It's vital to ensure they're in good working order.
Consider Installing Door Alarms
If you're concerned about your senior wandering off, as she might in the later stages of Alzheimer's, then you may find that door alarms are incredibly helpful. These are alarms that sound when the door opens, alerting you that there might be something to investigate.
Remove Extension Cords or Secure Them
Extension cords are a frequent tripping hazard, but they can be more of a hazard for your senior. Whereas an elderly family member without Alzheimer's disease might recognize the need to walk differently around an extension cord, your senior might not. Make sure that cords are secured out of pathways or remove them altogether.
Use Safety Gates at the Top and Bottom of Stairways
Stairs can be a particular danger because someone with Alzheimer's might not recognize the need to be careful. One solution beyond making sure that handrails are sturdy is to put a gate at the top and the bottom of the stairs. This can help to keep your senior from venturing up or down them when it's not safe to do so.
If your elderly family member isn't able to differentiate between medications, both over-the-counter and prescription medications, you really need to secure them. Placing them in a locked cabinet or in a medication safe can be the best solution.
Another safety idea is to work closely with senior care providers. They can help you to spot potential issues and solve those problems before they cause any harm to your aging adult.