Health Watch - Seniors: Alzheimer's Disease and the Home

Health Watch is a Public Service of the Office of News and Publications and is intended to provide general information only and should not replace the advice of a medical professional. You should contact your physician if you have questions about any of these topics.

This week on Health Watch, we’re talking about health concerns of special interest to seniors. Those who care for seniors also need to be aware of their loved ones’ special needs, especially when Alzheimer’s disease or dementia are involved.

Kristin Martin-Cook, who works in the Alzheimer’s Disease Center at UT Southwestern Medical Center, says an uncluttered, organized home can help patients function better. Too many choices or obstacles can be overwhelming. Clearing out closets except for a few favorite, comfortable outfits can make getting dressed easier. Move or get rid of furniture so there are clear pathways. Picture labels on drawers can make it easier for patients to find things. Photos and mementos kept in the open may help trigger memories. Arrange lighting to avoid frightening dark corners, and remove or cover mirrors so patients aren’t startled by the “strangers” who appear in them.

Visit to learn more about UT Southwestern’s clinical services in geriatrics.


September 2009

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