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Providing a Safe Home Environment for Alzheimer's Patients

Written by Alissa Sauer
 about the author
2 minute readLast updated April 20, 2023

Alzheimer’s disease and related forms of dementia can cause confusion and disorientation, which is why it’s increasingly important to create safe environments for a senior loved one with the disease. Making your home easy to navigate for your loved one with Alzheimer’s is a crucial step in caregiving and one that, if done right, can help them feel less anxiety and stress.

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A home safety checklist for Alzheimer’s

For caregivers who have opened their homes to a senior loved one with dementia, making the home safe is priority number one. The following tips can help caregivers prepare their house before a parent moves in:

1. Assess your home.

Start in your front yard and walk through the home, trying to see things from the perspective of your loved one. Contact your local Area Agency on Aging and the Alzheimer’s Association for additional support. These organizations have specialists who can come to your home and give you thorough safety advice. As you go through your home, take notes on changes you need to make.

2. Inspect closets and storage space.

Inspect any unsecured place and regularly inspect the refrigerator or pantry for expired or molded food. Dispose of any items that may cause harm to your senior loved one.

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3. Reduce the risk of falls.

As you walk through your home, think through any areas where your loved one may fall. If there are stairs in your home, ensure they have a handrail. Consider installing a handicap accessible bathroom or walk-in shower. You may want to purchase furniture to help your loved one, like adding a recliner that lifts to make standing easier.

4. Secure a “danger zone.”

Choose one place to keep any dangerous items. This could include alcohol, cleaning products, or power tools – anything that could be mistaken as something else. Lock this area to keep your loved one away from these potentially dangerous items. Use child locks on cabinets and drawers for all electric appliances, laundry detergent (pods), and medication.

5. Use technology.

Employing technology in your home can help keep your loved one safe and give you peace of mind. Motion-sensor alarms can help alert you if your loved one leaves the home alone. There are also bed alarms, floor mats, and seat cushions that can alert you when you loved one gets up or even leaves a room. Consider using a video monitor to help you supervise your loved one as the disease progresses.

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Home safety tips for dementia

As you walk through your home, consider these tips to make your home more comfortable for your loved one with dementia:
  • Anchor bookshelves to the walls
  • Arrange lighting to minimize shadows
  • Clear the walkway of leaves and snow regularly
  • Eliminate busy clutter and wallpaper, which can cause disorientation
  • Encourage children to keep their toys out of walkways
  • Fence in your yard with locked gates to help your loved one be outside safely
  • Install audio or video monitors throughout the home
  • Install temperature-controlled water faucets
  • Remove knives or sharp kitchen tools
  • Remove locks from bathroom doors
  • Remove the lock from your loved one’s bedroom door so they are unable to lock themselves inside
  • Repair cracked sidewalks or uneven paths to reduce the risk of falls
  • Use nonskid bathmats in the bathroom and kitchen


Meet the Author
Alissa Sauer

The information contained in this article is for informational purposes only and is not intended to constitute medical, legal or financial advice or create a professional relationship between A Place for Mom (of which OurParents is a trademark) and the reader.  Always seek the advice of your health care provider, attorney or financial advisor with respect to any particular matter and do not act or refrain from acting on the basis of anything you have read on this site.  Links to third-party websites are only for the convenience of the reader; A Place for Mom does not recommend or endorse the contents of the third-party sites.