Preparing a Home for Someone with Alzheimers or Dementia
Dementia and Alzheimer’s Disease are progressive diseases which can turn your loved one into a different person. While loss of memeory is the most commonly though of symptom, there are also a range of behavioural changes which accompany the diseases.
If you will have a loved one with dementia or alzheimers disease living with you, you should try to prepare your home to assist with their specific needs. An atmosphere which is calming will reduce the agitation and anxiety that are hallmarks of the disease. The following tips will help prepare for someone who has dementia or alzheimers. disease
Clutter can become unsafe and your loved one may injure him or herself if there is something on the floor and they fall. Falling is very dangerous at this age as bones weaken with age. Further, clutter can also cause confusion as someone may be spending inordinate amounts of time looking for something easily retrievable if organized. You may want to assist in labeling things so the individual can easily find it.
If there is too much light that causes agitation, you may want to consider adding some blinds or curtains to assist in reducing daytime light. However, in the evening, symptoms of dementia and alzheimers typically worsen (a condition called sundowning). You may want to increase the number of lamps and possibly add potlights or other brighter lights and have the lights come on with a timer when the outside light begins to dim. You should be sure however, not to interrupt the natural circadian rhythms or interfere with sleep.
Consider getting an alarm system, which will go off when a door or window is opened. Be sure that the alarm company has your home and work numbers, as well as a few other peoples. You may also consider getting a wifi camera which will activate by motion detection. You will be alerted to the motion in the house. You may be able to speak through the smart phone into the camera if there is a speaker and speak directly to your loved one. This might be unsettling so only in cases of emergency.
Keep Fresh Clothes Available
Your loved one may have an accident so you should keep fresh clothing (complete, with underwear) available to prevent embarrassing situations.
If you have had a personal experience preparing your home for someone with dementia or alzhemier’s disease, we would love to hear your tips, below.