Caregivers should be careful about any substance an Alzheimer’s (AD) patient takes through the mouth. An AD patient may not understand the consequences of ingesting or eating foreign substances, poisoning or choking is a real threat. Here are some preventative steps you can take:
Purchase locks for kitchen cabinets that contain dangerous substances such as cleaning fluids. Or move these substances to another location. Secure all locations where toxic chemicals are kept, such as garages, basements or workrooms.
Recognize that people with AD may be unable to distinguish hot from warm or cool from cold. To prevent burning, test the temperature of food before serving.
Maintain a clean refrigerator. Keep in mind the individual may not be able to distinguish between rotten food and edible food. Be prepared for the unusual. People with AD have been known to eat such items as small rocks, dirt, plants, flowers, and bulbs. Consider removing toxic plants such as poinsettias or mistletoe from the home.
(Source: Alzheimer's Association)