Sometimes, something is familiar to me.
Most times there is no recognition of the fabric of my life
Only frayed remnants of who I once was.
There are many ways the environment can be altered to support the Alzheimer’s person and improve quality of life.
Pay close attention to what the memory impaired person sees, hears, smells, and touches in a world that is becoming increasingly less familiar. These clues will help you adapt the environment to maintain a certain level of self-care, create chances for feeling successful, and minimize distress.
- Lighting. The goal is to mimic daylight, which is the most comfortable kind of light. You can purchase “day glow” or “vita light”. Having several lamps on creates too many shadows which are found to be threatening. Install dimmer switches throughout the house and turn up the lights as the sun goes down to help those who may become influenced by “sundowning syndrome”.
- Flooring. At some point, ones gait will become shuffling and perhaps scissor like. Many have a history of falls, and frequently the floor covering is to blame for such mishaps. Check footwear to be sure shoes provide support with soles to grip the floor. Since scatter rugs often cause accidents, eliminating them is a good idea for safety.
- Interior Pathways. Establishing clear pathways will help a person with Alzheimer’s negotiate spaces safely. They will also feel a sense of accomplishment at being able to find important places-the bathroom, kitchen, or even a favorite chair more easily.
- Furniture. Remove furniture that is difficult to get into and out of. As the persons motor skills diminish, balance becomes more tenuous. They will require sturdy chairs with arms to push up from and seats with short depths from front to back. Large overstuffed furniture can prove difficult for the person with Alzheimer’s disease. Child safety gaits can be installed at the top and bottom of stairs. Keeping a person with Alzheimer’s from climbing stairs is as important as protecting them from falling down.