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Alzheimer's & Dementia
Kitchen & Dining
Living Room - Any Room
Smart Home
Outdoors - Wandering

Refrigerator: Overview - Food Safety

Potential Problems
Eats food harmful to health
Sets refrigerator temperature too low
Stores perishable foods in cupboard
Eats or drinks inappropriate items
Takes too many or wrong medications

Safety Wise
Poison control hotline: 1-800-222-1222

Forgetting to close door?

As the disease progresses, your care receiver may not be able to tell what's safe to eat and drink. Persons with dementia often have reduced taste and smell, making it difficult for some to detect spoiled food. They may hoard or hide food until it spoils, or they may eat foods harmful to their health – for example, a diabetic eating sweets. Some may fiddle with the refrigerator temperature controls, hastening the spoiling process. Others may mistakenly store perishable food in the cupboards instead of the refrigerator. Some may eat or drink inappropriate items, mistaking one item for another – like orange-colored liquid dish soap for soda, vinegar for water, or a food magnet for real food. Some may take too much of a medication, or the wrong medications that are stored in the fridge.

Just in case someone eats or drinks a harmful substance, post the national poison control hotline in an easy-to-find location.

In this section, we'll share with you simple tips and solutions that have helped caregivers like you in similar situations.

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