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Alzheimer's & Dementia
Kitchen & Dining
Living Room - Any Room
Smart Home
Outdoors - Wandering

Sink Area - Cabinets

Medicine Cabinet

Cover Mirror if He/She
Doesn't recognize own image
Is frightened of "strangers"

Remove Medications
Increases drug shelf life
Reduces poison risk

Under the Sink Cabinet
Lock cabinet if needed
Remove supplies
Remove doors for wheelchair use

Denying Access

Poison Control Hotline

There are several potential problems using the sink area that you need to be aware of. First, some persons with dementia no longer recognize their own image and become frightened when looking into the mirror, thinking a stranger is in the room. If this occurs, use something like a cloth to cover up the mirror.

Second, even though the bathroom is one of the most common places medications are stored, it's also one of the worst: moisture speeds up drug deterioration. To increase their shelf life, move medications to a safe, dry location. And you need to think about the person's safety as poisoning can occur if the person accidentally ingests too much or the wrong medication. See our section on Medications for more information.

In addition to medications, make sure that all items in the bathroom cabinets are safe for the person with Alzheimer's or other types of dementia, or remove to a secure location.

And lastly, if the person uses a wheelchair, removing the cabinet doors may allow you to wheel him or her under the sink so they can get close in for grooming tasks. Make sure to wrap insulation around the hot water pipes. In this bathroom remodel, the lower sink is designed to be wheelchair accessible, with doors that easily swing out of the way.

Photos Courtesy of Vita Design Group, Napa, California.

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