Creating an Alzheimer’s friendly home is similar to childproofing a home; your best bet to is keep your solutions simple, re-evaluate the situation as needed and make sure the changes you’ve made to the home really do work for you and can provide optimal Alzheimer’s care solutions. Here are some tips:
- Remove clutter.
- Prepare a space that can be used as a locked storage space such as a closet.
- Limit options. Don’t place multiple items/options in drawers or cabinets, instead put in only a few items.
- Don’t move furnishings around unless absolutely necessary.
- Make commonly used items easily accessible.
- Re-evaluate mirrors. In the early stages of Alzheimer’s, mirrors can encourage good grooming habits. However, in the later stages of Alzheimer’s mirrors may be disconcerting because individuals might not recognize themselves.
- Remove busy upholstery and wallpaper patterns because they can be c0nfusing for people with dementia.
- Make lighting clear and warm. Avoid lamps that cast shadows which can be mistaken for frightening people or animals.
- Create visual cues. Color contrasts often help to make it clearer what an object is, as where the object begins and ends.
- Keep important documents and bills in a safe place where they can be easily found.
- Decide which areas are off limits. If wandering is an issue, get locks on doors. Additionally, you can make the garage a locked storage space so that dangerous items can be kept there.
These tips are from the Alzheimer’s Arkansas Programs and Services Newsletter.