A guide to assessing your home for risks when caring for a loved one with dementia

28 July

When we have young children we think about all the dangers in the home. Frightened they will come to harm we check that their bathwater is not too hot, no harmful substances or medications are left lying around, fit gates on stairs and take 101 other precautions so that accidents do not occur.

Children then become aware of dangers and are able to recognise and avoid harming themselves and precautions become unnecessary. Also, throughout life we need to maintain a range of safety precautions, fitting fire alarms and so on. We do this naturally.

When caring for someone with dementia this process goes into reverse. Because the person has been used to taking general safety precautions they are not always aware of the dangers that they now face.

This is also true for you, the carer. It doesn’t come naturally to think about all the extra measures that now need to be taken. After all, the person has managed to negotiate their way safely through life so far, with only a few mishaps.

This does not mean that you start treating the person like a child – far from it. But it does mean, irrespective of whether the person lives with you or independently, it is essential you start thinking about the risks which are likely to arise, discuss these with your loved one and try to avoid accidents. Whilst good sense, this is not always straightforward.

We have created a guide to completing your own risk assessments at home to help.

Robin Dynes has worked in the NHS and Social Services for over 30 years and created this exclusive Home Risk Assessment Guide for Dementia Carers to help you, as a carer understand easily how to assess your home environment for risks.

The guide includes:

  • Thinking about risks in your current situation
  • Why a checklist is of little use
  • Some risk management principles
  • See risk assessment as a means of enablement
  • When to do a risk assessment
  • Doing the risk assessment
  • Involving professionals
  • A rough guide to risks in the home
  • Risk assessment notes

Download the Free Home Risk Assessment Guide for Dementia Carers

To get your free copy of this exclusive guide, simply click here. It is a PDF file so you will be able to use it on any device.

There is also a printable template for you to use for completing risk assessments in your home.

This article was written for Carewatch by Robin Dynes. Robin also wrote our Activity guides for people with dementia to help carers enrich the lives of those they support.

Robin has worked in the National Health Service, Social Services and Adult Education for over 30 years as a counsellor and trainer. His main role has been to develop innovative services to meet the needs of older people and others who are vulnerable.


Sign-up to our new FREE activity guides for people with dementia

Click here to receive the guides