Home Safety

A safe, simple and clean living environment is important for people with dementia. They will feel more secure in a familiar environment or facility.  Having labels on items at home can help them remember.  Appropriate safety facilities (such as handrails, door opening alarms, etc.) and assistive tools can help to reduce risks so they can live in a safe and comfortable place.
JCCPA’s occupational therapists are on hand to help you assess home safety and offer modification recommendations. Contact us to access this service.

Hints for Home Safety

Home Safety

Flooring and Corridors
  • Use non-slip, non-glare and single-colour materials
  • Keep floors clean and dry
  • Cover exposed wires
  • Keep corridors tidy and clear
  • Install handrails
  • Maintain sufficient lighting
  • Ensure brightness
  • Have as much natural light as possible
  • Use night lights and signs for finding washrooms at night
  • Label drawers with a list and photos of items inside, or use transparent cabinet doors
  • Place regularly used items within easy reach
Living Rooms
  • Place furniture at fixed places
  • Choose furniture with rounded corners or cushion all corners
  • Avoid using folding tables and chairs
  • Place bigger calendars and clocks in eye-catching positions
  • Leave important phone numbers beside the telephone
  • Avoid displaying fragile knick-knacks
  • Lock up all hazardous products e.g. detergents, household cleaning products and sharp objects
  • Turn off the main switch after cooking
  • Use smart stoves
  • Label seasoning boxes clearly
  • Lock the kitchen door if people with dementia are confused with eating
Doors and Windows
  • Hide door locks with decorations to avoid people with dementia wandering off
  • Install door bells
  • Use colours and signage on different doors to identify rooms
  • Remove thresholds and mats to prevent tripping
  • Install fixed window grilles or lock openable window grilles
  • Use curtains with no ropes
  • Keep a set of spare keys for all door and window locks
Bathrooms and Washrooms
  • Use non-slip floor tiles and keep the floor dry
  • Install handrails
  • Install towel racks that look different from handrails to prevent misuse
  • Use a constant-temperature water heater and set the temperature at a safe level
  • Use text, colours or pictures to indicate how to turn tap to get hot or cold water
  • Place only necessary toiletries with clear labels in the bathroom

Lifestyle Aids

  • Velcro: use instead of zippers and buttons for easy changing
  • Rubber bands: Get pants with rubber bands or drawstrings for easy changing
  • Buttoning tool: for easy buttoning
  • Dressing aid: for easier changing of clothes
  • Sock aid: for putting on socks
  • Zipper strings: for zipping or unzipping zippers
  • Anti-fracture pants: to prevent broken hips in case of falls
  • Deep plates: to prevent spilling
  • Anti-slip table mat: to stop plates from slipping around
  • Specially designed crockery: bowls or plates with suction cups, bowls with a higher rim on one side for easier use when eating
  • Specially designed utensils: with thicker handles, U-shaped handles, perpendicular knives for easier handling
  • Assistive chopsticks: for using chopsticks
  • Seven-day pill boxes: to avoid taking excessive dosages
  • Smart pill boxes with electronic alarms: as reminders for taking medication on time
  • Anti-slip floor waxing: to prevent falling on slippery floors
  • Infrared sensors or leave bed alarm: to alert caregivers of dementia people’s whereabouts
  • Touch door alarms: to alert caregivers of dementia people’s whereabouts
  • Night lights: for moving around at night
  • Light switches with lighting indicator: to show if the switch is on or off, and for locating switches in dark area
  • Bed railing: to assist sitting up in bed or getting in and out of bed, and prevent falling off the bed 
  • One-touch phones / large-key phones: for people with dementia to call their family members
  • Video call service: such as phones with video call functions
  • Anti-slip shoes: to prevent falling
  • Suitable shoes: the feet of elderly people grow bigger around the toes and slimmer at the heel, so shoes may slip off inadvertently 
  • Engraved bracelets or personal detail plates: for finding people with dementia if lost; they are available from boutiques with engraving services
  • Wearing ornaments with a photo and  personal info: for finding people with dementia if lost; they are available from boutiques with engraving services
  • Anti-wandering devices: to prevent people with dementia from wandering off
  • Position locating devices: to locate a person with dementia
  • Communication devices: such as mobile phones