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Creating a Dementia Friendly Home

Creating a Dementia Friendly Home

New Age Care News

People with dementia suffer from memory loss, confusion and have difficulty learning new things, so they often forget where things are, how things work and even where they are.

A dementia-friendly home can enhance their safety as well as contributes to the overall well-being and quality of life.
 

Tips for a Dementia Friendly Home

There are lots of things you can do to make a home more Dementia friendly. Not all changes will be needed by every person, so consider the individual. Also, try not to make too many changes at once, but rather introduce adaptions slowly.

Below are a list of some of the changes you can make to make life simpler, easier and less stressful for someone with dementia.

 

Clear Clutter

An uncluttered environment reduces confusion and stress for individuals with dementia. Keep counters, tables and other surfaces clear of unnecessary items. Floors should also be cleared of any unnecessary items or furniture. Minimise visual distractions by opting for simple and neutral decor. This can help create a calm and organised atmosphere.

 

Good Lighting

Proper lighting is crucial for preventing falls and improving visibility. Make sure each room is well-lit, especially hallways, staircases, and entrances. Use natural light whenever possible and consider adding sensor-activated lights that turn on when someone enters a room and switches off after they leave..

 

Secure Flooring

Smooth and even flooring minimises the risk of falls. Choose non-slip flooring options to prevent accidents. Rugs and carpets should be secured with non-slip pads or removed altogether, as they can be a tripping hazard.

 

Simplify the Layout

A straightforward and intuitive layout can help prevent confusion and disorientation. Try to keep furniture and items in the same places and avoid rearranging them. Consider locking rooms and doors that are unnecessary to prevent individuals from getting confused.

 

Use Signage

To help individuals with dementia navigate their surroundings more easily, create clear and consistent signage throughout the home. Use large, easy-to-read signs to mark different rooms, doors, cabinets and draws. Color-coded labels can also help, especially for distinguishing between items or spaces.

 

Calming Colours

Choose colours for walls, floors and furniture that promote a calm atmosphere. Avoid overly bright, contrasting colours, and busy patterns as they can cause confusion or agitation. Opt for colours that promote relaxation, such as blues and greens.

 

Create Restful Areas

Create Restful Areas
Designate spaces for relaxation and downtime. Comfortable seating, soft lighting, and soothing decor can help individuals unwind and rest. These spaces can also serve as a restful space for caregivers if they are unable to have a space of their own.

 

Essential Item Accessibility

Place commonly used items within easy reach. Items such as the phone, keys, medication, and personal care products should be easy to find and accessible. Organise drawers and cabinets with labels or pictures to help individuals locate items easily.

 

Memory Aids

To help individuals remember important appointments, tasks, and events, introduce memory aids like whiteboards, calendars, and digital reminders. Digital voice-activated assistants can also be programmed to provide reminders and answer questions.

 

Supportive Furniture

Choose furniture that is comfortable, stable, and easy to get in and out of. Chairs with armrests and firm cushions can assist individuals with mobility challenges. Consider using contrasting colours for furniture and seating to help individuals distinguish between different objects.

 

Safety Equipment

To help someone with dementia to live independently for as long as possible, put in place safety measures and install helpful safety equipment. Consider handrails and grab bars in hallways, staircases, and bathrooms. Ensure that the bathroom is equipped with nonslip mats, shower chairs, and adequate lighting. Use childproof locks on cabinets containing cleaning supplies, medications, and other potentially harmful substances.

 

Sensory Stimulation

Incorporate sensory elements into the environment. Textured fabrics, soft music and pleasant scents can positively influence mood and engagement. Sensory gardens or indoor plants can also provide a soothing and stimulating experience.

Creating a dementia-friendly home involves thoughtful changes that prioritise safety, comfort, and familiarity. By implementing these tips, you can significantly improve the living environment for individuals with dementia.

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