Maintaining the Connection
Maintaining the Connection

Part 4: Adapting the Physical Environment

"Home" is an important place for everyone. For the person with dementia, a familiar environment can help her connect with the past and maintain a sense of who she is. However, some practical changes may need to be made to keep the family home or the person's space in a care home "dementia-friendly."

Every person with dementia will have different requirements for keeping a safe environment. Keep in mind some of the changes that occur with dementia:

  • Decreased balance and reaction time

  • Visual-perceptual problems

  • Difficulty walking

  • Memory impairment

  • Decrease in judgment abilities

  • Less insight into environment and situations

Watch this video to learn about some suggestions for ensuring a safe home environment.  Feel free to make some notes.

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Home Safety Questions

Here are some questions to consider for ensuring a safe environment for the person you are caring for at home:

  1. Do I need to store the scatter rugs and secure the carpet to prevent falls?
  2. Are the stairways safe for the person I am caring for?
  3. Is he able to use the electrical appliances in the kitchen and bathroom safely?
  4. Should the hot water heater temperature be lowered?
  5. Are there any medications, cleaning substances or gardening chemicals that should be locked away?
  6. Do I need to be there when he has a cigarette?
  7. Should I lock some of the doors or do I need to move the location of the locks on the doors?
  8. Should I consider installing some safety equipment in the bathroom (e.g., grab bars, elevated toilet seat, non-slip mat)?
  9. Does the lighting sufficiently eliminate shadows that may cause confusion?
  10. Are there items that confuse him (e.g., pictures, mirrors)?

(This information is taken from the Alzheimer Journey, Module 2: On the Road)


Additional Reading

Living Alone

Progression Series: Late Stage

A Handbook for Care


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