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Attic remodeling for a cognitive disability

Follow these attic remodeling for a cognitive disability ideas for loved ones with dementia, Alzheimer's disease and similar.

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Follow these steps for attic remodeling for a cognitive disability. Photo by Jixar on Flickr.Alzheimer's disease and other cognitive disabilities affect the way people perceive things. This type of disability also affects short-term memory, long-term memory and sequential thought, making it difficult for the affected person to get around the house safely. Attic remodeling for a cognitive disability is one way to make a home safer for someone with an Alzheimer's disease, dementia or another medical condition that affects memory and perception.

Remodeling for a cognition disability does not have to be an expensive undertaking. Just making a few simple fixes may be enough to help your loved one stay safe.

Because falls are among the most common problems for people with cognition disabilities, consider installing hand rails on stairs that lead to the attic. People with Alzheimer's disease may be afraid to walk up and down the stairs, especially if there is no hand rail to use for support. Installing rails on both sides can help your loved one get to and from the attic safely.

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Painting stripes on the stairs leading to the attic may also make getting up and down the stairs safer. Make sure the stripes are brighter than the stairs, as the color contrast can make it easier to see each step.

Changing the lighting in the attic is another step toward accommodating people with dementia, Alzheimer's disease and other cognition disabilities. Lighting that produces a flare can cause confusion in someone with a cognition disability, so you should provide glare-free lighting in the attic.

Bare light bulbs may produce a glare on walkways, so add shades on any overhead lights or lamps in the attic space.

Older people also have difficulty adapting to quick changes in lighting levels, so make sure the attic has the same level of light throughout. Add another light fixture to make it easier for someone with a cognition disability to navigate the attic space. Always consider lighting issues before starting attic remodeling for a cognitive disability.

Flooring is another important consideration. Before you start a residential renovation project, make sure you know what floor surfaces are easiest for people with cognition disabilities to navigate. Polished surfaces may cause confusion, as sunlight from an attic window can cause a glare, which can trigger confusion. Polished floors are also slippery, so they are difficult to walk on, especially for people who shuffle their feet.

Consider removing the doorsill from the attic entryway, as some people with Alzheimer's disease tend to not pick up their feet when they walk. A doorsill or other raised surface may cause them to trip.

When you are ready to start your remodeling project, a trusted contractor can help you pick the best materials and develop a project plan to accommodate your loved one's needs. Use Reply! to find a contractor who has experience in building new attics and remodeling finished attics.

If you are ready to remodel a home to accommodate people with disabilities, make sure you include the attic in your remodeling plans. Attic remodeling for a cognitive disability is a great way to make a home safer for someone with Alzheimer's disease, dementia or a similar disability.

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Photo credit: Jixar via Compfight CC.