5 Bathroom Helpers for People With Moderate Dementia

Several simple measures can make going to the bathroom at night a safer, easier experience for someone with mild dementia:

  1. Start by making sure the path to the toilet is clear. Remove small tables, rugs, and baskets along the path from bed to bath, including in the hallway.

  2. Try using regularly spaced nightlights to guide the path.

  3. Another option, if you lack sufficient outlets, is to run a string of lights (like Christmas-tree lights or party lights) to lead the way from bedroom to bathroom.

  4. Install a lighting option that's not visible by day: reflector tape used with motion-activated nightlights that plug into a hall socket and light up only as you walk past (about $15 at hardware stores).

  5. To make seeing the toilet easier: Older men hit their mark better when the commode is a contrasting color from the surrounding walls. So if yours are both, say, white, consider investing $10 in a can of paint in a deep, warm color for the wall behind the tank.

Paula Spencer Scott

Paula Spencer Scott is the author of Surviving Alzheimer's: Practical Tips and Soul-Saving Wisdom for Caregivers and much of the Alzheimer's and caregiving content on Caring. See full bio

almost 4 years, said...

6. Small flashlight beside bed to light the way.

over 5 years, said...

the suggestion of a string of christmas lights was very helpful also the reflector tape a great suggestion

about 6 years, said...

It's reassuring to see all the good ideas people have for helping their loved ones. I cared for my Mom after my Dad died in 1988. My husband has been a "quick study" and he is patient in communicating w/ me as well as other interactions.

over 6 years, said...

motion decter night lights.

over 6 years, said...

The occupational therapist recommended putting a chamber pot in Mom's room. It's been a great help...Mom doesn't get lost in her own house in the middle of the night.