Home improvement ideas needed for 83 year old woman.

  1. My mother is 83, has alzheimer's and a small house. What kind of home improvement ideas would you suggest? My mind is blank. Thanks
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  2. 7 Comments

  3. by   Katnip
    How severe is her alzheimers? Is she dangerous around a stove?

    First thing I'd do is get rid of throw rugs. Add shower bars. If possible, arrange things in the kitchen cabinets in a more user-friendly way. Does she have a dishwasher? Of course if she is anything like my mother in law was, anything like a microwave or dishwasher was out of the question. she just refused to learn it.

    Is the house on one or two floors? Is there a bathroom on the first floor? Can she walk up and down steps easily?
  4. by   prmenrs
    If you put a larger than normal shower in one BR, it's easier than climbing over the side of a tub. There are also those "Premier" bathtubs that are advertised to be easier to get in and out of, have a seat, whirlpool--almost makes me want one, too. At least, get one of those little stools to sit on, and a hand held shower head.

    Don't know the budget you're dealing w/either. Talk to the Alzheimer's Assoc/Foundation, whatever, for suggestions.
  5. by   Danelle
    I would get rid of excessive furniture, like coffee tables. DH's grandmother had a glass top one with sharp corners and one fall meant a trip to the ER.
  6. by   Jessy_RN
    I would ensure that the tub was slip-free with a detachable shower head, remove the rugs, and extra furniture ( like already mentioned). Also, find more conventional ways of cooking without having to use the stove. I was thinking of a steamer, toaster oven, crock pot, skillet, microwave etc; Have the home clutter-free and most importantly have plenty for her to do. Does she enjoy knitting etc........

    Grandma died with this disease and she got to the point where she actively tried to run away because "her mother was expecting her". Keep the gates secured
  7. by   Blackcat99
    Thanks all for your great suggestions. :hatparty: Mom is in the late mild-early moderate stages of Alzheimer's. Fortunately, Mom has a fear of fires and avoids the stove because she thinks it will start a fire. I would love to get rid of Mom's 100 throw rugs. Everytime I get rid of one she finds a new throw rug to put into it's place. My brother has promised over and over to put in a shower rail for Mom and he never does. Mom does have a lot of money in the bank so she can afford to get some good home inprovements. It's a one floor house. Yes I think a hand held shower head is a great idea! I do need to get rid of excessive furniture. Mom hasn't started "wandering" yet but she probably will in the future. I think I better get a fence and gate ready now. Which do you think is best to hire? A handyman or contractor?
    Thanks again
  8. by   Katnip
    When I was taking my gerentology class, the instructor mentioned an interesting concept that kept dementia patients from wandering off.

    They would either paint, tile or carpet a dark strip about 8 inches deep and the length of the door, in front the of doors. The patient would think it was a ditch or something, and not cross it to get to the door. Weird, but the study said it was more effective than an alarm and it didn't scare the bejeebers out of a person.
  9. by   elizabells
    Check w/ your local senior center. At school today we had a presentation from our local senior center - they have nursing students go in and do a falls assessment and then they give out small grants for seniors to get things like grab bars installed. Maybe there's something like this in your area.

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