David B. Hogan, MD, FACP, FRCPC, Professor and Brenda Strafford Foundation Chair in Geriatric Medicine, University of Calgary, Calgary, AB.
Dementia is a common condition that places its victims at risk for injury. This article provides an overview of home safety for those with dementia. A conceptual approach to this management challenge is the Home Safety / Injury Model described by Hurley and colleagues. I focus on two common safety concerns: wandering and falls. Unfortunately, most recommendations are based on “common sense” (i.e., what seems reasonable). Whether these approaches actually decrease the likelihood of harm is largely unknown. It is anticipated that future research will lead to evidence-based recommendations.
Key words: dementia, home safety, wandering, falls.