Preparing Your Home for a Loved One with Alzheimer’s Disease
When bringing a loved one who suffers from Alzheimer’s disease into your home, you will need to make some basic changes to the interior and exterior that will limit accidents from occurring. This is because those with the disease will require 24/7 care and removing all potential injury-causing obstacles will help make your job much easier.
The good news is that many of the changes are simple and straightforward with some having no cost while others may be inexpensive or even subsidized by medical insurance. Here are a few things that you can do to help make your home safer for someone suffering from Alzheimer’s disease.
Porch, Front and Back Yards
The first step is to install ramps so that it is easier for them to enter and leave the household. Even if they are not in a wheelchair, a ramp is better for them to keep their footing compared to stairs. Clear away all sidewalks, driveway, and porch areas so that there is no clutter to prevent them from walking. Adding locked to the doors and windows so they do not wonder off is a good thing to do. Plus, you may want to post a “No Solicitation” sign for the slight chance someone coming to the door may scam your loved one.
Simple, clean, and clear should be the theme for your kitchen to minimize accidents and confusion for your loved one. Label the drawers and cabinets with photos so they will know what is behind each door. You might want to create a special section for them, so they only go to one place to find what they need.
Dining & Living Room
Clutter-free, open access, and removal of all sharp objects and corners will help considerably. You may want to install a handrail, so they can sit down and get up from their favorite chair. Remove anything that can be tripped over and put in a home security system so that you’ll be alerted if they wonder away.
It should be on the first floor if possible, so they do not have to climb the stairs. Plus, there should not be a lock so that in an emergency you can enter and help them get out. However, you should do everything else possible to secure their privacy. Remove all throw rugs and only use low-pile carpeting to reduce incidents of tripping.
Make sure it is clean and well-lit while being free of obstacles on the floor. While tile is expected, a no-slip rug does provide some security. You’ll also want to install plenty of handrails, so they have something solid to grip when in the bathtub, shower, and using the toilet. Slip-resistant mats are a must in the shower area. Use simple prints for your towels, curtain, mat, and other decorations.
In addition, you may want to label products that are kept in drawers with large photos or lettering for clarity. Electric razors are generally better and removing all sharp objects is a must.
It can be difficult at times to care for a loved one suffering from Alzheimer’s disease, but you can reduce bad incidents by making your home as safe as possible.