Keeping safe at home

Keeping safe is important for everyone but It can be more of a concern when you have dementia, especially if you live alone.

There are everyday risks around the home that dementia can make harder to deal with. You may experience:

  • memory problems, such as forgetting to turn things on or off
  • physical difficulties that can make it hard to use stairs or some items of furniture
  • changes in what makes you feel comfortable and secure
  • being confused about using appliances.

There are lots of things you can do to reduce your risk and help with some of the problems you might face. By doing so you can stay safe at home and stay living there for longer.

These pages give tips and advice, and explain what pieces of equipment you may find useful. They include information about the following areas:

  • Making changes to your home
  • Keeping secure at home
  • Technology
  • Electricity, heating and water
  • Fire risk, cooking and kitchens
  • Stairs and keeping steady
  • Getting help

General tips

  • Keep a list of emergency phone numbers in a convenient location, eg near the telephone. You could also store names and numbers of important contacts in the phone so you don’t need to dial the numbers.
  • Keep other useful information to hand, including notes of where the following things are: 
    • stopcock (valve for turning off and on the cold water)
    • gas and electricity meters
    • fuses
    • first aid box.
  • Keep a large week-to-view diary in a familiar place and write important things down in it.
  • Get household appliances checked regularly. Keep records, and store them in a safe place. Remember to:
    • use a qualified electrician for electrical appliances
    • use a Gas Safe registered engineer for gas appliances.
  • If you have an open fire, have chimneys swept once a year, or more often if you burn wood.
  • Get carbon monoxide detectors and smoke alarms fitted.
  • Use timers for plugs, lights and heating systems to turn things on and off automatically.
  • Help to prevent falls by making sure the house is well lit. Remove trip hazards such as rugs. Have grab rails fitted on the stairs and in the bathroom.
  • Use a personal alarm to alert people if you fall.