The LifeWorx Guide to Alzheimer’s and Dementia Care

Since 2004, LifeWorx has specialized in Alzheimer’s and dementia elderly care and has been consistently finding ways to simplify the process for our caregivers and clients.

This resource guide is intended to answer your questions and offer suggestions as needed. Our Care Consultants are available to help you understand how best to serve your loved one and how to proceed during this difficult time.

Do you have questions about our Alzheimer’s and Dementia home care services? We’re here to help! Call 1-646-517-5718

How do I ensure that my loved one’s home is dementia and Alzheimer’s-proof?

More of the elderly population are choosing to “age-in-place”, which means they’d rather stay in their homes instead of going to an assisted living facility or nursing home. You can keep your loved one or client safe by making easy changes in their home, otherwise known as “elder-proofing”. It means doing things to ensure that your client is safe and secure while living at home. Try these strategies for a secure environment:

  • Take a tour of your loved one’s home and look at it from your loved one’s compromised point of view. Dementia affects cognitive abilities, depth perception, balance, coordination, memory, and strength.
  • Print out the LifeWorx Home Safety Checklist (will be a PDF document). Make a to-do list as you go.
  • Bedroom
    • Remove space heaters and heated blankets to reduce the risk of fire.
    • Install automatic lights that turn on when a person enters a room.
    • Get rid of excess clutter so that your client can easily walk around and avoid tripping over items on the floor.
    • A monitoring system, like a baby monitor, can help you hear when your loved one gets out of bed or needs help.
  • Bathroom
    • Installing handrails in the bathroom, in the shower, and around the toilet are very important. Falls in the bath are very common.
    • Consider adding an elevated toilet seat and installing a grab bar next to the toilet.
    • Use a bathtub tread or a non-slip tub mat to help your loved one stay safe from falls in the tub and shower.
    • Buy a shower chair to reduce the chance of falls in slippery shower stalls and tubs. A shower chair can also make it easier for caregivers to help bathe people with dementia.
  • Stairs
    • Install handrails on both sides of a stairway and show the person with dementia how to hold both rails at the same time to reduce the chance of a fall.
    • Remind the person with dementia not to carry items while walking. They can cause additional balance problems and can block a person’s view of any objects that might be in the way.
    • Make sure there is a light switch at the top and bottom of any stairs so your loved one can see as they walk up and down the stairs at night.
    • Keep the stairs and halls clutter-free, and tidy to minimize tripping.
  • Living Room
    • Place night lights and light switches near the bed and keep a flashlight handy if the power goes out.
    • Eliminate extension cords to reduce the risk of trips and falls.
    • Look around the room and consider simplifying or “un-decorating”. For someone with dementia, busy wallpaper patterns and clutter can be confusing. Wall mirrors can make it harder to process what is real and what is a reflection.
    • Remove aging wall-to-wall carpet that is uneven, lumpy, or curling up on the edges. Make sure the wall-to-wall rugs or carpets you do use are firmly tacked down.
  • Kitchen
    • Consider having gas-burning stoves and ovens disabled by a professional, especially if the person with Alzheimer’s is in the early stage and still living alone.
    • Whether inside or outside, keep tobacco and alcohol products locked away, Keep an eye out on those with dementia during large family gatherings where they can wander around. Alcohol consumption is not recommended for dementia patients and can exacerbate symptoms.
    • Make sure all smoke detectors are working properly, particularly in the kitchen and bedroom.
    • Make food easy to find and reach. Climbing on step stools, chairs, or counters is risky for people with dementia.
  • General Home Safety Tips
    • Put smoke detectors and carbon monoxide alarms on each floor and test them to be sure they work.
    • Cover electrical outlets that you or your client are not using, and take care of any wiring problems. Keep lamps and appliances near outlets so your client is less likely to trip off the cords.
    • Post emergency phone numbers, your home address, and your client’s home address to all the phones in the home.
    • Check to be sure doorways can accommodate walkers and wheelchairs. Even if your loved one doesn’t use one now, they may need one in the future.
    • Lock up chemicals and supplies, including grilling tools, power tools, hand tools, paints, bleach, mothballs, and insecticides.

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