Alzheimer's and Other Dementias: Making Your Home Safe

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Alzheimer's and Other Dementias: Making Your Home Safe

Topic Overview

Confusion, wandering, and memory loss can lead to accidents and injuries. Help protect the person with dementia by making your home safe.

  • Keep rooms uncluttered, with clear walkways around furniture. Don't move furniture around because the person may become confused. Remove throw rugs to prevent tripping.
  • Use locks on doors and cupboards. Lock up knives, scissors, medications, cleaning supplies, and other dangerous objects and substances.
  • Use hidden switches or controls for the stove, thermostat, water heater, and other appliances, and use child-proofing devices. Assess the risk of allowing the person to continue cooking.
  • Consider using carpet to help absorb noise and to prevent slipping.
  • Install handrails, tub mats, and other assistive devices in the bathroom. Use bright, non-slip treads in the bathtub to prevent falls and make it easier for the person to see the bottom of the tub (some people with dementia have depth perception problems).
  • Provide adequate lighting, especially at night. Put night-lights in bedrooms, hallways, and bathrooms.
  • Lower the hot water temperature setting to 49°C (120°F) or lower to avoid burns.

Related Information

Credits

By Healthwise Staff
Primary Medical Reviewer Anne C. Poinier, MD - Internal Medicine
Primary Medical Reviewer Andrew Swan, MD, CCFP, FCFP - Family Medicine
Specialist Medical Reviewer Peter J. Whitehouse, MD - Neurology
Last Revised January 11, 2011

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