Alzheimer Disease is a progressive, degenerative brain disease.  People with this disease become less and less able to make sense of information from the outside world. They become unable to think, remember, understand, and make decisions as before.

Home Escape Planning

 In a fire situation, it is critical that everyone in the household knows what to do and where to go.
  • Develop a home escape plan and review the plan with every member of the household, including the person with Alzheimer Disease.
  • The plan should name who will assist the person with Alzheimer Disease, and any other person needing assistance to safely get out of the home.
  • If appropriate, let neighbours know that someone with Alzheimer Disease is living next door. Develop a ‘buddy system’ with neighbours to assist in case of emergency or when you are away from the home.

Smoking

It is important to supervise an individual with Alzheimer Disease while they are smoking. 
  • Use large, deep ashtrays and consider putting water in the bottom for added safety.
  • Wet down cigarette butts and ashes before putting them in the garbage.
  • Placing a cookie sheet under the ashtray can prevent a cigarette and its hot ashes from falling onto furniture or clothing.
  • Smoking outside, or while seated at a table, is safer than smoking on upholstered sofas or chairs.
  • No one should ever smoke in bed, or in a home where oxygen is in use.

Cooking

If the person with Alzheimer Disease likes to cook, it is important to provide supervision and assist where necessary. 
  • Make sure they wear tight-fitting sleeves that to avoid contact with a hot burner.
  • Keep all combustible materials a safe distance from the stove, (paper towels, utensils, recipes, or tea towels).
  • Remove the fuses or knobs from the stove to prevent use during unsupervised times.
  • Toasters, electric kettles, and other small appliances should be unplugged and stored out of sight when not in use.
  • Microwave ovens can be a hazard that cause fires and burn injuries.  Supervision is needed when they are in use.

Candles

If possible, all candles should be removed from the home of a person with Alzheimer Disease or related dementia. 

If candles are present in the home:

  • Make sure they are placed out of reach and enclosed in glass containers
  • After lighting candles, store the matches or lighters out of sight
  • Be sure to blow out all candles before leaving the room or going to bed

Burns and Scalds Burns 

Scalds can be prevented by adjusting the temperature of water heaters to 54C (130F). If a burn or scald injury does occur, run cool water over the affected area for three to five minutes then seek medical attention, if necessary.