The layout and decor of your home can have a significant impact on a person with dementia.
Someone with dementia may get disoriented and forget where they are, where things are, and how things work due to memory loss, confusion, and difficulties learning new things.
There are some straightforward things you can do to potentially support someone with dementia in continuing to live freely at home, even if it’s not ideal to make significant changes to the home overnight.
Get a needs assessment from your local municipality if the dementia sufferer hasn’t already done so. You might be referred for a separate inspection of your home if it appears that you need modifications, such as grab bars in the bathroom.
Most older people, especially those with dementia, benefit from brighter lighting in their homes since it can lessen the risk of falls and help prevent confusion.
- Try to lessen reflections, shadows, and glare.
- Bright, uniform, and natural lighting are ideal (as much as possible). Make sure the following to increase natural light during the day:
- The drapes are open.
- Nothing, including superfluous nets and curtains, is obstructing the windows.
- If trees or hedges impede sunlight, they should be pruned.
- Particular attention should be paid to lighting in the bathroom and on the stairs. Light switches should be accessible and simple to operate.
The addition of automatic light sensors may be beneficial. When a person passes the sensor, the lights turn on automatically.
To aid with sleep, it’s also crucial to make sure the bedroom may be made dark at night.
Regular eye exams are crucial because dementia is more prevalent in older individuals, allowing any issues to be identified and treated.
Lessen Excessive Noise
Background noise is muffled by curtains, carpets, and cushions. Simply crossing the room on laminate or vinyl floors can be extremely noisy. A hearing aid worn by the dementia patient will amplify these sounds, which can be upsetting.
If no one is watching or listening, turn off the television or radio to reduce background noise.
Even if the person with dementia wears hearing aids, it’s crucial to undergo regular hearing tests.
Problems with sight and hearing together can exacerbate the symptoms of dementia in people (known as deafblindness or dual sensory loss)
Avoid placing rugs or mats on the floor, since some dementia sufferers may become confused and believe the rug or mat is something they must step over, which could result in trips and falls.
Avoid flooring that is bright or reflective because the person with dementia can find it difficult to walk on it since it might be interpreted as being wet.
Matched flooring in a color that contrasts with the walls is the finest option. Avoiding hues like green (grass) and blue, which can be confused for actual objects, may be of assistance (water).
It is possible for dementia to impair one’s ability to distinguish between colors. Choose:
- Walls and floors with contrasting colors Beds, tables, and furniture in bright or striking colors that
- contrast with the walls and flooring, including chairs, couches, and armchairs
- with contrast-colored toilet seats and banisters to stand out from the rest of the bathroom’s decor.
- Tableware that contrasts with the tablecloth or table to assist define the edges of plates.
- Bold patterns and stripes should be avoided as they might be perplexing and disorienting.
Reflections May Cause Problems.
If mirrors are likely to confuse a person with dementia, check them and cover or remove them. If they don’t recognize themselves, they can be upset.
Similar to this, closing the curtains at night can prevent them from seeing their reflection in the window glass.
Labels and Signage Can Aid with Navigation.
Labels and signs on cabinets and doors, such as a toilet sign on the bathroom or toilet door, might be useful. Signs ought to be:
- clear, with words and a suitable image that stand out against the background and are positioned a little lower than usual (since older people tend to glance downwards)Putting pictures of what’s
- inside cabinets and drawers may also be helpful. For instance, you may display a picture of cups on the cabinet that houses them.
As an alternative, transparent cabinet doors allow someone with dementia to see what is inside, which can be very helpful.
Wares Suitable for People with Dementia
Products for the house that are made expressly for people with dementia are available. For instance:
- telephones with large buttons,
- clocks with huge LCD displays showing the day, date, and time,
- gadgets that play an audio reminder to remind users to take their medications or lock the front door.
These items are frequently referred to as assistive technology. Apps for tablets and smartphones can also be useful. More information about utilizing technology to make daily life easier can be found at the Alzheimer’s Society.
The Alzheimer’s Society online shop and Life made easy are only two of the websites that supply daily living products.
It’s possible that the person you’re caring for prefers classic fittings and fixtures like taps, toilet flushes, and bath plugs.
Make sure that any tables are sturdy and have edges that are smooth and round. They must be positioned so that a wheelchair can fit underneath if necessary and that food and drink are visible.
Gardens and Outside Areas
Like everyone else, those who have dementia may benefit from getting some exercise and fresh air outside. Make certain to:
- To avoid slips and falls, walking surfaces are level.
- Any outdoor space is safe to prevent wandering, there are raised flower beds to make it easier for people with limited mobility to maintain their gardens, and there are covered seating areas to allow people to spend more time outside.
- Adequate lighting should be installed at all garden entrances to make them visible and accessible.
- In the garden, animals will be drawn in by bird feeders and bug boxes.
- Additionally, a diversity of plants and flowers helps keep someone interested.