Alzheimer's and other dementias: Making your home safe

Confusion, wandering, and memory loss can lead to accidents and injuries. Help protect the person with dementia by making your home safe.

  • Keep rooms uncluttered, with clear walkways around furniture. Don't move furniture around because the person may become confused. Remove throw rugs to prevent tripping.
  • Use locks on doors and cupboards. Lock up knives, scissors, medications, cleaning supplies, and other dangerous objects and substances.
  • Use hidden switches or controls for the stove, thermostat, water heater, and other appliances, and use child-proofing devices. Assess the risk of allowing the person to continue cooking.
  • Consider using carpet to help absorb noise and to prevent slipping.
  • Install handrails, tub mats, and other assistive devices in the bathroom. Use bright, nonslip treads in the bathtub to prevent falls and make it easier for the person to see the bottom of the tub (some people with dementia have depth perception problems).
  • Provide adequate lighting, especially at night. Put night-lights in bedrooms, hallways, and bathrooms.
  • Lower the hot water temperature setting to 120°F (48.9°C) or lower to avoid burns.

Last Updated: November 10, 2008

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