You must be well aware about the challenges faced while caring for someone with dementia disorder. Adapting your home for better accommodation of your loved one’s dynamic requirements, may be one such challenge. By incorporating the elements of dementia friendly home design, you will be able to ensure that your loved one has better chances of being secure from falling, having improved memory support, and also having more liberty to exercise personal abilities.
Here are some common tips for you to transform your home into dementia friendly living space for the proper dementia care:
The Living Room
- Keep curtains open during the day to let in maximum natural light.
- Ascertain that lights and window management minimize glare and reflections.
- Ensure that the entire area is adequately and evenly illuminated to attain recommended brightness levels so as to reduce shadows.
- Watch out for hazards like loose rugs, objects on the floor, and long cables.
- Make sure to place regularly used objects within easy reach.
- Ensure comfortable seating and at proper elevation for relaxed sitting and standing.
- Include well acquainted and personal items in the surrounding to promote positive memories.
- Use devices and gadgets which have single function and are easy to identify like a kettle.
- Gadgets which switch off automatically, or have timers, are the best.
- Have open or glass-door kitchen cupboards to allow the contents to be visible from the outside.
- Label things to help individuals with dementia.
- Maintain tidy kitchen surfaces and place regularly used items in clear view.
- Install and regularly check for proper working of smoke detectors to ensure safety in the case of a fire threat.
- Few specialized products like clamps and holders can keep your loved one engrossed in the cooking process.
- Orient the bed so as to aid proper visibility of toilet for the person during the night. Leave the bathroom light or night-light on to guide the way.
- Lighting should correspond to the natural day to night cycle. This helps to maintain a quality sleep pattern.
Remove internal door locks.
- Place a bedside lamp with convenient operation.
- Maintain a clutter free zone and place shoes and slippers in the closet when not in use.
- Use bedding in contrast with the floor color.
- Consider fitting motion sensors to the bed or wall, and when activated may help the person get around safely.
- Provide handrails, bath seats and non-slip bath mats in contrasting colors for proper viewing of people with poor eyesight.
- Ensure to maintain the appropriate thermostat temperature since a person with dementia may miss out on checking safe water temperature.
- Apart from installing flood detectors, use a special bath plug to facilitate proper water drainage in case of a water overflow.
- Use open or glass door shelving to display regularly used items.
- Rule out shiny floors as it may mislead your loved one to think it is wet and get them anxious.
- Use contrasting colors objects with respect to wash basin for easy identification.
- Always place the same towels strategically in the same place, and keep toilet rolls within easy reach.
Being outdoors in the sun has many beneficial effects like inhaling fresh air, vitamin D, and stress relief among them. It also helps regularize our sleep cycle.
- If possible make or modify the garden involving your loved one and let them enjoy watching the growing garden.
- Garden should be easily identifiable from inside of the house and furniture shouldn’t obstruct the sight of the garden or the path leading to it.
- Create a focal point for the garden, like a bird feeder or bird bath and include a seating nearby.
- Always have optimum lighting options in the garden based on the requirement.
- Outline the outside steps by painting with white color and check for their proper leveling to avoid tripping by your loved one.
- Remove clutter or garbage from the garden and put away any toxic and sharp items.
- Provide good deal of seating and shade, and secure any outdoor spaces to check wandering
There are several simple alterations that you can make around the home to provide comfort to someone living with dementia. Each of these are beneficial in providing improved safety, independence, better quality of life, and the possibility for your loved one to prosper.