Alzheimer's and Touch
Alzheimer's disease may lead to descreased sensitivity to touch in some people. This can include a diminished ability to interpret feelings of heat, cold, or pain. To keep the person with Alzheimer's safe, you can: adjust water heaters to avoid scalding water, use warning signs, and remove or pad furniture with sharp corners.
People with Alzheimer's disease may experience loss of sensation or may no longer be able to interpret feelings of heat, cold, or discomfort.
Helpful tips for preventing people with Alzheimer's from experiencing accidental pain include:
- Adjust water heaters to 120 degrees to avoid scalding tap water. Most hot water heaters are set at 150 degrees, which can cause burns.
- Color code separate water faucet handles -- red for hot and blue for cold.
- Place a sign on the oven, coffee maker, toaster, crock-pot, iron, or other potentially hot appliances that says DO NOT TOUCH or STOP! VERY HOT. The person with Alzheimer's disease should not use appliances without supervision. Unplug appliances when not in use.
- Use a thermometer to tell you whether the water in the bathtub is too hot or too cold.
- Remove furniture or other objects with sharp corners or pad them to reduce the potential for injury.