WARNING: These Everyday Items Could Worsen Your Loved One's Alzheimer's Symptoms

WARNING: These Everyday Items Could Worsen Your Loved One's Alzheimer's Symptoms

Mar 25, 2024

Living with Alzheimer's disease in Wilmington, NC can be challenging for both the patient and their caregivers. Everyday routines and familiar surroundings can become confusing and disorienting. Certain seemingly harmless items can further exacerbate these difficulties. Understanding how these items might impact your loved one with Alzheimer's is crucial for creating a safe and supportive environment.

Medications and Supplements:

Over-the-counter pain relievers and sleep aids:

While seemingly innocuous, some over-the-counter medications can worsen confusion and disorientation in people with Alzheimer's. Always consult with a doctor before administering any medication, even over-the-counter options. They can recommend safer alternatives or adjust existing prescriptions to minimize side effects.


Some herbal supplements can interact with medications your loved one is already taking, leading to unintended consequences. Always discuss any supplements with your doctor before use.

Household Items:

Cleaning products:

Strong-smelling cleaning products can be overwhelming and disorienting for someone with Alzheimer's. Try unscented or lightly scented cleaning solutions. Consider using natural cleaning alternatives like vinegar and baking soda whenever possible.


Some people with Alzheimer's may not recognize their reflection, leading to distress or confusion. If your loved one seems agitated by mirrors, consider covering them temporarily.


Clocks can cause confusion, analog clocks with large, easy-to-read numbers are better than smaller more traditional clocks or digital clocks can be more readable for someone with Alzheimer's to read and understand.

Food and Drinks:


Alcohol can worsen cognitive decline in people with Alzheimer's. It's best to limit or eliminate alcohol consumption entirely.

Sugary drinks and processed foods:

A diet high in sugar and unhealthy fats can contribute to inflammation in the brain, potentially worsening Alzheimer's symptoms. Focus on providing a nutritious diet rich in fruits, vegetables, and whole grains.

Environmental Factors:


A cluttered environment can be overwhelming and make it difficult for someone with Alzheimer's to navigate their surroundings. Declutter living spaces and keep frequently used items within easy reach.

Loud noises:

Loud or unfamiliar noises can be disorienting for someone with Alzheimer's. Create a calm and quiet environment whenever possible.

Changes in routine:

Changes in routine can be very disruptive for someone with Alzheimer's. Maintain a consistent daily schedule as much as possible, including mealtimes, bedtime, and medication schedules.

Additional Considerations:

Loose rugs and slippery floors:

These can increase the risk of falls, which can be particularly dangerous for someone with Alzheimer's. Secure rugs with double-sided tape and ensure floors are slip-resistant.

Sharp objects and poisonous plants:

Remove any sharp objects or poisonous plants from within reach to minimize the risk of injury.

It's important to note that the impact of these items can vary depending on the individual and the severity of their Alzheimer's.

Always observe your loved one's behavior and reactions to adjust their environment accordingly.

Tips for creating a safe and supportive environment for someone with Alzheimer's:

Label items clearly:

Label cabinets, drawers, and doors with large, easy-to-read pictures or words.

Use nightlights:

Nightlights can help your loved one navigate their surroundings at night and feel more secure.

Maintain familiar routines:

As much as possible, stick to a consistent daily routine to provide a sense of predictability and comfort.

Create a safe space:

Designate a safe space in your home where your loved one can relax and feel secure. This space should be free from clutter and have familiar items readily available.

Communicate effectively:

Speak slowly and clearly, using simple sentences and short phrases. Make eye contact and avoid arguing or trying to reason with someone who is confused. Focus on reassurance and validation.

Living with Alzheimer's can be a challenging journey, but by being mindful of your loved one's environment and needs, you can create a safe and supportive space that helps them live their best possible life. Call Age in Place Home Care Services for free in home safety inspection: (910) 348-7440