29a – Check list living environment for individuals with dementia

Fact sheet no. 29a

This checklist gives examples of how flats can be adjusted to the requirements of individuals with dementia.

The living environment/flat should be adjusted to the personal abilities of the individual with dementia taking into account spatial conditions. The changes should be adapted to the progression of the disease.

General safety

  •   Remove trip hazards, e.g. remove runners
  •   Fit windows with lockable handles and tilting possibilities
  •   Lock radiator controls
  •   Fit sockets with locks
  •   Use cookers and irons with automatic switch-off
  •   Install smoke alarms; in case of smokers use flame-proof bed linen
  •   Safely store lighters, candles, matches; if necessary, remove
  •   Safely store cleaning agents, medicines, chemicals and hygiene articles
  •   Remove poisonous and prickly plants
  •   Allow external opening of the flat door, even if the key is in the lock from the inside
  • In general, attention should be paid to good lighting, avoid dark corners and


Entrance area of flat and corridor

  •  Extend the lighting intervals in the stairwell
  •  Secure landings (e.g. by fencing)
  •   Mark in colour first and last step
  •   Fit corridors and stairwells with handrails on both sides
  •   Fit entrance door with motion detectors (e.g. glockenspiel, sensors or wireless

    warning detector).

  •   Do without mirrors in the entrance area (general)
  •   Use motion detectors as night lighting
  •   Mark doors with function of the rooms
  •   Conceal doors which should not be opened
  • Use non-slip floor covering

Living room

  •   In case of fear or unrest switch off or remove television and radio
  •   If necessary, fit time switch to the television
  •  In case of defective devices, repair is often more sensible than buying a new one
  •  Note room overview, no mirroring surfaces
  •  Prefer telephone with large buttons and pre-setting

Bed room

  •  Install lighting which can be switched off from the bed and illuminate the way to the toilet
  •  Use motion detectors or audio sensors
  •   Arrange separate bed rooms for relaxation of the spouse
  •  Bed room aids: Toilet chair, nursing bed


  •  Set up a dining area and provide seating
  •  Strive for reduction of technical kitchen equipment
  • Position basic utensils within easy reach and visible
  • Label or illustrate the cupboards according to content, if required, remove cupboard doors
  •  In case of uncontrolled eating urge securely lock refrigerator
  •  Mount large clock with Arabic numerals
  •  Use dishwashers and washing machine with aqua-stop
  •  Install cooker monitoring and smoke detectors
  •  In case of gas cooker lock gas tap
  • Microwave instead of cooker

Bath room

  • Identify objects in the personal favourite colours
  • Use coloured, rich in contrast toilet seat
  • Install anti-scald thermostatic mixing faucet
  • Install level indicator for the bath tub and the wash basin
  • Bath room door to open outward, mount outside release,

    if necessary remove key

  • Bath room aids: toilet seat raiser, bath tub lifter, shower chair, bath handles


  • Fit garden door with motion detectors
  • Fence the area and narrow through vegetation
  • If possible create a trail, secure the garden pond
  • Put up garden bench
  • Create raised beds