Safe-Proofing Your Home for a Loved One with Alzheimer's

The challenge is to balance a desire to keep individuals with dementia as functional as possible against the hazards posed by their cognitive decline.

Home make overs—from simple fixes to more involved projects—can help minimize accidents and maximize well-being for people with Alzheimer’s disease. Safeproofing the home environment can also give peace of mind and reduce stress for at-home and long-distance caregivers.

To create a dementia-friendly home, it is best to be proactive, rather than scramble around to solve an immediate crisis. The challenge is to balance a desire to keep individuals with dementia as functional as possible against the hazards posed by their cognitive decline, which may include poor judgment, difficulty with spatial perception and an inability to react appropriately.

Caregivers should scrutinize the home to gauge its safety, paying particular attention to modifying kitchens and bathrooms, clearing passageways of clutter and other hazards, providing suitable colors and lighting, and taking steps to deter wandering.

Find general tips at tips for safeproofing your home and as well as a helpful checklist at the Alzheimer's Foundation of America site.

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