HELPING A PERSON WITH ALZHEIMER’S

Alzheimer's disease consists essentially of the death of certain neurons in the cerebral cortex gradually and progressively over the ten years that, on average, the disease lasts. The cause of neuronal death is not definitively clarified and is also referred to as neurodegeneration. That is why it is said that Alzheimer's disease is a neurodegenerative disease.

Source: University Clinic of Navarra

HOW TO ORGANIZE THE HOUSE FOR A PERSON WITH ALZHEIMER’S

A clean and orderly home will reduce the stress and fatigue of a person with Alzheimer's, in addition to providing greater clarity and independence.

Numerous investigations conclude that patients with limited options such as dressing for example feel less stress and the task becomes easier.

An orderly house, free of obstacles or objects that make movement difficult, as well as access to belongings in a logical and simple way, will result in more freedom of movement and confidence.

STEP BY STEP

  • Deep cleaning of cabinets and having a selection of appropriate clothing by discarding clothing that is already unusable or that has not been used for a long time will make it easier.  Only the clothes corresponding to each season of the year will be kept in the closet. Choose washable clothing that does not require ironing and is easy to put on and take off, for example: velcro closures, shoes without laces, socks without heel ...etc.
  • Keep photos and sentimental objects in view and make albums or scrapbooks that help stimulate memory.
  • Label products, cabinets and even doors with drawings if necessary.
  • Provide adequate lighting by illuminating dark areas that cause mistrust and highlighting key areas, such as the bathroom, where it is advisable to keep a lamp on at night. You can also place luminescent bands that lead the way from the room to the sink. It is advisable to fix the bedside lamp to facilitate switching on and off without knocking it over.
  • Pay Attention to Floor Coverings. Remove any loose carpets and doormats that might hinder movement.
  • Check if there are electrical cables that drag along the ground and mount them higher up.  Also install protectors on the plugs sockets.
  • Remove excess ornaments, furniture and any decorations with protrusions. Have safe chairs that are easy to get out of, with armrests, backrest and adequate height.
  • It is advisable to fix non-slip strips on the edge of the stairs as well as installing  barriers at the top and bottom landings to prevent unsupervised access.
  • Keep small items for example matches, lighters, firearms, car keys as well as toxic products such as bleach and medicines under lock and key. The bathroom medicine cabinet should not contain any medication.
  • Elimination of locks on the inside of the doors. The windows and exterior door must be provided with a safety device that prevents them from opening without assistance.
  • Remove small objects.
  • Ensure the radiators are protected with a well secured safety cover.
  • Regulate the water heater to avoid possible scalding.
  • Secure particularly dangerous sites, such as terraced balconies and pool edges.
  • Reduce toilet items to a minimum and install safety rails in shower and toilet to provide easier mobility.
  • Cover or remove mirrors so that the person does not get startled by the "stranger" looking back at them.
  • Keep in mind that it is better to gradually organize and restructure the home environment in the initial phase of Alzheimer's progression. It is advisable to avoid abrupt changes rather than waiting until the person has adjustment problems.  Having designated places for each of their belongings will make it easier to find them.

Remember my motto: "A place for everything and everything in its place"

I would love to help you, do not hesitate to contact me for more information.

A hug


Lorena Peláez

Professional Organizer  - Palma de Mallorca

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