ADA Inspections Nationwide, LLC
The name of this company is ADA Inspections Nationwide, LLC
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ADAIN Blog

by Richard Acree of ADA Inspections Nationwide, LLC

Aging in Place Home Modifications for the Alzheimers Victim

Alzheimers is a progressive disease going through 7 stages of decline starting at Stage 1, Normal Outward Behavior, and going to Stage 7, Very Severe Decline.

Stage 1, Normal Outward Behavior, is when a person won't have any symptoms that you can spot. Only a PET scan, an imaging test that shows how the brain is working, can reveal whether the person has Alzheimers. Stage 7, Very Severe Decline, is when many basic abilities such as eating, walking, and sitting up, fade. In Stage 7 the Alzheimers victim can no longer care for themself.

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Installing aging-in-place home modifications for the Alzheimers victim should keep in mind cognitive abilities, depth perception, balance, and coordination as the condition progresses. A Certified Aging in Place Specialist can help with home modifications for an Alzheimers victim. A representative list of home modifications that can help the Alzheimers victim includes:

  • Minimize and reduce clutter, not just knick-knacks and stacks of papers, but also books, pictures, and collectibles.

  • Remove or replace busy wallpaper patterns.

  • Keep mirrors that are used regularly. Too many mirrors can be confusing.

  • Put stickers or bright tape on glass doors to ensure the door (and/or window) is seen as a stopping point.

  • Use reflector tape on stairs, floors, or walls to outline the daily path taken in the house.

  • Install handrails on both sides of hallways and stairs.

  • Install grab bars in the bathroom used by the Alzheimers victim.

  • Improve poor lighting conditions throughout the house.

  • Install memory aids to prolong a normal lifestyle such as labeling cupboard doors or dresser drawers.

  • Install message boards posted with daily schedules.

  • Install picture aids to help use an object appropriately. Picture aids can be helpful in frequently used rooms outlining what activities take place there and what commonly used items might be found in each room.

  • If the Alzheimers victim has difficulty walking, take action to level the flooring by removing all unnecessary carpet or rugs, highlight any different floor elevations to avoid falling accidents from depth perception, make sure all step systems are correctly designed and installed.

  • Relocating furniture to avoid tripping hazards.

  • Replacing or removing carpeting or rugs.

  • Installing guardrails below high object that are not at least 80 inches above the floor.

  • Install non-glare and/or non-yellow lighting.

  • Replace sheer curtains with mini-blinds to cut down on glare.

  • Use soaps and shampoos in pump dispensers to prevent spillage, or hang a shower caddy in the shower to hold your soap and shampoo.

  • In the shower, use a hand-held showerhead so you can test the water temperature on your hand.

  • At all sink water sources with hot and cold water, make sure the hot water faucet handle is on the left side.

  • At single handle shower faucets, make sure you get full hot water only at the full throw or movement of the faucet handle.

  • Make sure the maximum hot water temperature at all faucets is 120 degrees F. If not, adjust the water temperature selector at the hot water heater.

  • Install handrails on both sides of all step systems, regardless of the number of steps.

  • Eliminate all abrupt floor vertical elevation rises greater than 1/2 inch.

  • Make sure that all abrupt vertival elevation rises greater than 1/4 inch are sloped at least 1:2 for that part above 1/4 inch rise.

  • Install signage at all doors to remind the occupant what is beyond the door.

In addition to home modifications, the local police and fire departments should be advised of the persons address and the person with Alzheimers should be registered with the Alzheimer's Associationʼs Safe Return program.

If someone you know suffers from Alzheimers, please call Richard at 615-752-0060 to discuss their needs for a home safety inspection and home modification. For more information about the services Richard provides please see Residential Accessibility.

Thank you.