"Alz" proofing the house: An Alzheimer's House

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"Alz" proofing the house: An Alzheimer's House

Most people are ready to "child-proof" their homes when babies start crawling and toddlers start poking around in every nook and cranny. "Alzhiemer's" proofing your home, however, can unexpected and be an even greater challenge. Depending on how Alzheimer's has affected the person in your home will affect what you need to alter, but be prepared to alter.

For example, have they lost the ability to figure out the proper amount of time to heat something in the microwave, but still retain the urge to "use" the microwave? If the microwave is built into a cabinet, it's tougher to unplug it.

Do they wander around and turn off all the lights out of habit, even if others want them on? Some switches might need to be "taped" over. Is the stove still accessible to them? Do they want to put the kettle onto the gas stove? It may mean that the kettle has to be hidden.

One suggestion is to "groove" them into a path, a routine that let's them do what they want to do, but leaves other things safetly untouched outside of their path. For example, create a special nook or corner on the kitchen counter that has "their" stuff. Maybe a box of biscuits or snacks keeps them coming back to rummage there. This could keep them away from poking around in other cabinets.

Do they have a favorite chair in the living room that's exclusively theirs. Keep some newspapers, magazines or knitting supplies there. This gives them a place to go to when bored, rather than wandering to other parts of the house.



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