Ways to Keep Your Home “Fall Safe” for Dementia Sufferers

September 19, 2013 | By Lorenzo Mejia
  1. Have good lighting.  Dementia sufferers may have poorer eyesight.  In addition, they may suffer from illusions.  Good illumination throughout the house helps everyone see things more clearly and reduces shadows that may play mind games on our loved ones.
  2. Make use of contrasting colors and visual cues.  Those with dementia have a harder time distinguishing between like colors.  For example, the same carpeting on the stairs and floor may make it harder to recognize the stairs.  Contrasting colors helps eliminate this concern.
  3. Unobstructed paths for movement inside the house.  Loved ones with dementia have a harder time seeing the possible danger of a loose rug or extension cord.  Eliminate such hazards that lead to tripping and falls.
  4. Eliminate obstacles outside the home.  Walkways and decks should be free of obstacles (leaves, rocks, furniture, toys, etc.) Avoid uneven walkways.
  5. A single place for reminders.  Maintain one place for notes and reminders.  This makes it easier for the senior to remind himself of appointments and other things that need their attention.
  6. Keep important things by the bed.  Dementia sufferers often become confused at night.  Help reduce the chance for confusion by keeping important items on a night stand, like water, a lamp, eyeglasses, a clock, tissues and a telephone.
  7. Reduce noise.  Dementia sufferers are often more sensitive to noise.  Try to eliminate loud sounds that may cause distress or confusion.
  8. Keep a means of communication handy.  For anyone who is vulnerable, being able to call for help is a huge comfort and a safety measure.   There are many types of “remote help” technology, including a fall alert bracelet, Life Alert, etc.
  9. Use secure footwear.  Loose sandals, improper fitting shoes and the like are a huge fall risk.  If a shoe falls off easily, it can cause tripping.  Shoes with Velcro fasteners are a good choice for making footwear easy to put on / remove while keeping shoes secure.

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