Owners' Blog

Could Throw Rugs Be a Problem for an Elderly Loved One with Dementia?

By Greg and Hilary Eldridge

Elderly Care in Johns Creek GA

When an elderly loved one develops dementia, all sorts of otherwise normal activities and items can become risky. Throw rugs are just one of those items you might need to deal with properly.

They Can Present a Tripping Hazard

For rugs that are thick or that flip easily, tripping is one of the biggest concerns for your elderly loved one. Your elderly loved one may have additional issues besides dementia that make it difficult for her to spot this problem, too. Issues with her vision, difficulty lifting her feet, or even problems with her balance can all cause your loved one to trip much more readily over a throw rug.

They Can Be Visually Confusing

Throw rugs may look odd to your elderly loved one if she has dementia. While your brain translates the throw rug as simply a layer of fabric over the floor, your loved one may see the edge of the rug in the same way that she sees a step. So she can become confused about whether she needs to step up or down in order to navigate that area.

They Might Be in the Way

In general, the throw rugs might simply be in the way. Many people with dementia develop a shuffling gait that keeps them from being able to walk the way that they used to. On carpeting or hard flooring, that's not an issue. With a throw rug, however, your loved one's feet might get caught up in the rug even if it has a rubber backing to help hold it down.

You Don't Have to Remove them Completely

Depending on the types of issues that your loved one has with throw rugs, you may not have to get rid of them completely to remove the danger. For example, if tripping is a big concern for your loved one, then simply taping them down might do the trick. Or, if your loved one is especially attached to a throw rug that was a gift or that she's had for years, consider using it as a wall hanging or in another capacity so that she can still see it often.

Work with your loved one's elderly care providers to determine when it's a good idea to remove throw rugs altogether for her safety.

If you or an aging loved one are considering hiring elderly care in Johns Creek, GA, please contact the caring staff at Home Helpers, call (678) 430-8511.