Room Decorating Tips for Seniors with Alzheimer’s

January 28th, 2015

Moving a loved one with Alzheimer’s is stressful — and once the physical move is over, the emotional toll of adapting to a new environment can be difficult to handle. If you’re designing a room for a senior with Alzheimer’s, make it your goal to create an environment that’s secure, familiar, and speaks to his strengths and passions. These room decorating tips will get you started:

Include Safety and Comfort

First, create a clean, comfortable space for your senior. To help avoid falls, ensure that there is no clutter, maintain slip-resistant floors, and arrange furniture in a way that allows for easy passage with canes or a wheelchair. Make sure your loved one can easily navigate every room — this can reinforce both her independence and her balance confidence.

Use scatter rugs sparingly, and when you do, secure them to the floor. Be sure to choose colors that coordinate but don’t overly blend with one another — otherwise, your loved one may become disoriented and unable to distinguish between the carpet and the floor.

Keep Cherished Possessions on Display

Display your loved one’s favorite paintings or photographs around his room so he can easily see them. Hang any pictures at eye level, and create shadow boxes or wall hangings of his favorite items and set them out where they can be easily accessed. If your senior has a favorite expression or quote, see if it’s available as a ready-made decal that you can peel and stick to the wall. Wall decals and colorful pillows are two of many things that can keep a space bright and cheery.

Define Each Room by Color and Furniture

When Alzheimer’s sets in, you can encourage your senior by reinforcing the things that she remembers. Help her figure out why she may have walked into a particular room by allowing the decor and furniture arrangement within to define the space. Keep things simple and cozy, and make use of natural light wherever you can.

Your loved one’s living room should have a television, space for relaxing, and a reading nook. Her home office should have a computer and a door that closes. When it comes her bedroom, the best room decorating tips address the essentials your loved one needs to relax and get a good night’s sleep. Add favorite colors, easy-to-reach light controls, and simple covers and pillows that make it easy for her to get in and out of bed without fuss.

Alzheimer’s support begins with helping your loved one make sense of her surroundings. When you’re designing a room for your senior, keep simplicity, functionality, and her independence in mind. Creating a space that is functional and encouraging will help your senior feel right at home again.

When you are caregiving for a senior with Alzheimer’s (or another condition that increases fall risk), the round-the-clock support of a medical alert system can help bring peace of mind to you and your loved ones.