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Ways To Make Your Home Dementia-friendly

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  • dementia friendly
  • Posted date:
  • 07-09-2021
Ways To Make Your Home Dementia-friendly

Are you looking for ways to make your home dementia-friendly? We look at the range of improvements that can be made to your home if someone with dementia is living at home.

How to make your home dementia-friendly

Living at home when living with dementia can help people feel far safer and hold on to their independence. Here in this article, we will detail some advice, tips and easy steps people can take to make their home more dementia-friendly. 

These will help anyone living with dementia to continue with their established routines, hobbies and activities and make life with dementia that little bit easier. Implementing the changes we propose will help make houses safer for those who wish to stay in them.

What Are The Needs Of A Person With Dementia?

Install good lighting

One of the ways to make your home dementia-friendly is ensuring that natural light can make its way into people's homes. This is an easy way to make homes safer for those living with dementia. 

Having sufficient lighting in their homes allows people to properly see where they are going and make sense of their surroundings. 

Nothing should be blocking any windows, such as heavy curtains, this is to bring in as much natural day-light as possible. It will also make life easier if people's bedrooms are sufficiently dark to help with a good sleep in bed at night.

Keep flooring safe

Keeping the floors of their homes clutter-free will also make them safer for someone with dementia. Removing loose rugs or mats and clearing cables will help to reduce the risk of people with dementia tripping. 

Making the floor as visible as possible, with plain, non-gloss colours being the best choice. Flooring that is coloured to contrast other room elements will also make it stand out and be easier to navigate for those who find it difficult to tell the difference between colours.

Make eating and drinking easier

Ensuring that people maintain a healthy diet is essential at all stages of life. 

Therefore, using plates, utensils, tablecloths and cups that contrast in colour with the food they are eating can make it easier for people to see and know what they are eating. 

Using transparent containers to store food will also make it easier for people with dementia to take stock of what food they have to eat.

Get furniture that you can see clearly

Given that dementia may affect a person's ability to distinguish between colours, using bright and contrasting colours in interior design can make it easier and safer for those with the condition to navigate their homes. 

Any vivid or distracting patterns should be avoided as these can confuse those with dementia.

Remind yourself where things are

Dementia has a significant negative effect on people's memory, making it common to forget where things are. 

It can help put pictures or labels on storage spaces, cupboards and drawers to remind people of what is kept inside them. Storing things such as wallets or keys regularly in the same place can also help and is a good idea for those who regularly lose their belongings.

Keep bathroom things simple

Having people create signs for the toilet door can also help those living with dementia to navigate their homes better. Removing the toilet seat cover from the toilet so that the toilet seat is easily accessible could also make it easier to identify and use.

 Again, contrasting colours are often the best to help make things such as towels and toilet rolls stand out, making them easier to find and use. 

Removing clutter, trip hazards and items not regularly used from the bathroom will also help make the room safer for someone with dementia.

Keep the home clutter-free

Having a messy and cluttered home can make those with dementia feel confused and distract them from the tasks they are performing. Ensuring you remove all clutter from living spaces, cupboards, and make sure all drawers are clear can help those with dementia safely navigate and use their homes

Try to keep any appliances such as TVs or radios switched off when not used as this will also help avoid confusion and distraction.

Use equipment to keep yourself safe

There is also a wide range of safety equipment that someone with dementia can have installed in their home to improve safety. Grab rails can be installed onto stairways or ramps where needed to ensure maximum safety. 

Smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors are essential in any home, especially for those with dementia. Sensors are also available to alert people whether they have left a tap running or whether the water they are using is too hot or too cold.

Keep active and engaged

To ensure a high quality of life and as little jarring change as possible, those with dementia should continue to do the things they enjoy as much as they are able. 

Using calendars and diaries can help those with poor memories track the days and any planned activities. 

Clocks with large faces and numbers can also help people to keep time. Some people with dementia might also find it beneficial to have a chalkboard or whiteboard that they can write helpful reminders on.

Enjoy outside activities

Getting outdoors and remaining active is greatly beneficial for those living with dementia. However, there are steps that people should take to ensure that they remain safe. 

One of these may be to ensure their door is distinguishable from the others in their street, so it is easy to identify. If the person has a garden they like to spend time in, ensuring that they have somewhere to sit and rest when needed will also help mitigate any potential injuries and keep them safe.

Dementia-friendly household items

There are various helpful, dementia-friendly items that people living with the condition can have around the house to make their lives easier. These items are specifically designed for someone with dementia and can help them maintain a great quality of life. These items include:

LCD clocks with large display screens showing the time and date to help those with dementia keep track.

Alarms and devices give audible reminders to help people take their medication regularly or warn them when they have left their doors unlocked.

Telephones or mobiles with enlarged buttons for ease of use.

These devices, and many more besides, are collectively known as assistive technology, given the assistance they offer to those with dementia. 

People may also take advantage of various smartphone or tablet apps to help them manage their lives while living with dementia. People can also check the Alzheimer's Society and AT Dementia online shops for additional helpful living aids.

Some people will still prefer traditional home fittings such as toilet flushes, taps or bath plugs. Ensuring that these are all safe and easy to use is essential, and keeping them in the home may bring that added bit of familiarity and comfort.

 Additionally, all tables in the home should be secure with rounded edges to avoid injury. Tables should also be at an appropriate height to be eaten from or to fit a wheelchair underneath should that be necessary.

Safe Gardens and outside spaces

People with dementia, while having a significant medical condition, are just like anyone else and can still enjoy getting outdoors or taking care of outdoor spaces such as gardens. 

Being outside in the fresh air is a great way for someone with dementia to stay healthy. It may even be a continuation of the activities they enjoyed before their diagnosis. However, there are steps that people should take to improve outdoor safety, including:

Having all walking surfaces, such as lawns, paths and driveways, at an even level to mitigate the risk of trips and falls.

If the person with dementia has a habit of wandering away and becoming lost, any outdoor spaces or gardens around their home should be secured to prevent this.

Creating a comfortable, sheltered space for people to rest in and allow them to remain outdoors for longer.

Raising flower beds to a reachable level can assist those with limited mobility care for their garden and continue with the activities they enjoy the most.

People should install adequate lighting throughout people's gardens to ensure they can navigate the space safely. Entrances to and from the garden should also be well lit for safer movement.

For those with a love of wildlife, installing bird feeders or insect hotels can attract interesting and stimulating activity into people's gardens. Additionally, caring for flowers or herbs offers people a chance to get out into the open air and engage in a worthwhile and fulfilling pursuit.

If you have questions about ways to make your home dementia-friendly then please use the buttons provided below.

We hope this information has been useful to you.

We offer specialist home care services and live-in care for vulnerable adults throughout London. Get in contact today if you have a loved one that would benefit from professional care at home.