DEMENTIA OR ALZHEIMER’S DISEASE HOME ENVIRONMENTAL TIPS

delighted senior father and adult daughter hugging in studio

LIGHTING:

  • Lighting should be soft, not bright however very well lit
  • Night- lights throughout rooms
  • Windows should be covered with blinds and open for natural light during days. Close window coverings at night to decrease glare.

BEDROOM:

  • Put all personal hygiene items in a locked drawer. Many hygiene items are poisonous, nail polish remover, perfumes, shampoos, nail polish, lotions. Position bed facing the bathroom
  • Use cards/colorful photo images to label contents in drawers/cupboards and doors
  • Pictures of your loved one from when they were young
  • Pictures of family with the names of the family members

    BATHROOM:

  •  Always have the SAME towels available and place them in same location for easy access
  • Use non-slip mats, *shower chair and *grab bars
  • Keep toilet paper in same location and within easy reach of the toilet
  • If the sink is white, consider colorful stickers to help it be visible
  • If the bathroom FLOOR is shiny it may appear WET which could lead to your loved one becoming anxious and move unsteadily when entering bathroom.  Change the floor or eliminate the shine. Avoid wavy lines, stripes or changes of color between rooms if possible.
  • Toilet: if identifying toilet is becoming difficult consider changing the color of the toilet seat to create contrast. Consider the height of the toilet and installation of grab bars for safety concerns.
  • Keep household water temperature at or below 120F

ALL ROOMS:

  • Remove all clutter and tripping hazards (cables/wires running across the floor)
  • Remove area rugs OR tape down edges
  • Keep a list of phone numbers with a photo of each person beside the telephone.
  • Mirrors: Often those with dementia become confused or disoriented seeing themselves (or the reflection of the environment) in the mirror. Cover or remove them.
  • Provide a daily “To do list” on a bulletin board
  • -leave doors open that your loved one are permitted to enter. Close other doors.
  • Use contrast colored wall socket and switch plates

Consult OT/Home Modification Professional for recommendations

Resources: National Council of Certified Dementia Practitioners and BrightFocus Foundation)

Fall Prevention

Balance and Fall Prevention

FALL PREVENTION STRATEGIES TO MAKE YOUR HOME SAFER: Make an investment in your independence!!

  1. Remove tripping hazards: secure (tape) or remove scatter rugs; tack down carpet if curling/puckering; use electrical tape to fasten electrical cords and phone charging cords to wall
  2. Clean up/remove all clutter (boxes/magazines/etc) from walking paths and stairs
  3. Store necessities (clothing, food, dishes) within easy to reach locations
  4. Adequate lighting: Keep your home brightly lit; use nightlights in bedroom, bathroom, and hallways; use glow in the dark/illuminated light switches; store flashlights in easy to find places in case of power outage
  5. Move furniture to allow for flowing traffic pattern
  6. Improve bathroom safety: grab bars, nonslip mat, shower seating, toilet modifications (seek out Home Modifications Specialist)
  7. Use non-slip surfaces throughout home: Bathtubs/showers, kitchen and bathroom floors, porches.

ADAPTIVE DEVICES: In addition to use of a cane or walker there are other assistive devices to consider. An Occupational Therapist/Home Modification Specialist is able to evaluate your living space and provide additional fall prevention strategies such as consideration of durable medical equipment (shower seating, grab bars, hand held sprayer); stair climbers, ramps or stair lifts; door widening strategies.

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