A Checklist for Preparing the Home for Individuals with Dementia
If you have a loved one visiting your home who has dementia or Alzheimers disease, you will want to make sure that you have prepared your home so it is a safe and inviting place for these individuals. If they do not have an identification bracelet or a life alert system in place so that your loved one can contact emergency services, should they need assistance. Here is a basic checklist of things to consider when inviting an individual with Alzheimers to your home or to preparing a living space for an individual with dementia.
- Clear all of the walkways in the home so you dont have to worry about trips or falls. Remove clutter and furniture that may get in the way of an individual with dementia. This also includes scatter rugs that can be moved easily. - Prepare the home as you would for a small child. Put gates on the top of stairways and install safety laches on cabinets and drawers that hold potentially dangerous items. This includes toxic cleaning products, knives or medications. - Fix uneven steps, broken handrails and place guards on heaters, radiators and electrical sockets. - Eliminate items from the home that can be potentially toxic if swallowed. This includes small objects that can be swallowed or poisonous houseplants. - Place night-lights in the bathrooms, hallways and bedrooms and make sure that you have proper lighting in the home. - Try to keep clutter, excess noise and overly stimulating features of the environment at a minimum so that the individual with dementia does not get overwhelmed. - Consider adding non-slip decals or mats in the shower area and in the bathrooms to prevent slipping and falling. If they are planning on showering then consider grab bars around the tub and shower as well as a bathtub bench. - Adjust the homes hot water heater so that it cannot get over 120 degrees. This can lower the chances of scalding. - Consider an automatic shut off switch for the stoves and appliances and put away appliances like toasters, toaster ovens and blenders. - Remove the locks on bathroom doors, in case your loved one needs assistance in the bathroom or if they slip and fall in this room.