By Lisa Garrett, OTD –
Remove Throw Rugs And Clear The Clutter
Smooth, clear, and wide pathways around the home reduce the risk of falls and make it easier for your loved one to move about. If a rug must stay put, make sure it has non-skid backing and tape the edges of the rug to the floor to prevent tripping over rolled edges.
Add Color To The Bathroom
People with dementia have a harder time locating objects and navigating spaces because of changes in the way they see. The white toilet seat blends in with the white tile floor. The white grab-bar in the shower blends into the beige shower wall. The floor of the shower appears to continue up the walls making it unclear where to place a foot when entering. The inability to see where things start and end can lead to confusion, fear, disorientation, and falls.
- Consider replacing the white toilet seat with a colorful one
- Install grab bars that contrast with the color of the shower wall
- Purchase a solid-colored shower curtain — too many colors or patterns can be disorienting
- Use a non-skid bath mat that contrasts with the floor of your tub or shower, so your loved one knows where to step when entering the shower
- Place colorful adhesive tape (such as bright duck tape) along the edge of the shower or tub to indicate where to step over the tub or threshold
Disguise Doors To Prevent Wandering
An alternative to installing interior locks is to disguise the door by making it look like a window or wall. Hang a curtain over it to disguise as a window or paint it the same color as the surrounding walls and hang a photo on it.