A leading home care provider has created a new guide on ‘how to make a dementia friendly home’.
Helping Hands Home Care recommend making the following adjustments:
• Place personal belongings around the home as a distraction or talking point when the individual is feeling confused
• Check pictures and mirrors and cover or remove them if they might cause confusion
• Refrain from using carpets and furnishings with strong patterns as these can disrupt eyesight
• Keep the room well-lit
• Consider displaying treasured photographs to evoke a sense of comfort and belonging
• Use furniture and plain coloured furnishings that contrast with the walls and floors so that they can be easily seen
• Make sure the individual can see the outside through the windows.
• Remove floor mats and rugs as they can cause trips and falls
• Use tape or a doormat at the bottom of the stairs to help them distinguish between the floor and the first step
• Cover patterned wallpaper with plain photographs, ideally of fond memories from their past.
• Use brightly coloured crockery that contrasts with the food, as well as the table or tablecloth
• Place signs on cupboards and doors around the house to help make items easy to find
• Label hot and cold taps
• Lock away any potentially hazardous or sharp items.
• Put away any items that are causing clutter on surfaces
• Install a toilet seat that contrasts with the rest of the bathroom – a toilet mat will also help individuals locate it quickly and easily
• Consider removing the toilet lid
• Use towels and toilet rolls in contrasting colours to the wall, to make them easier to see
• Try leaving the bathroom light on during the night.
• Leave interior room doors open so individuals can see clearly where everything is in each room
• Place a lamp at the side of the bed so it can be easily accessed
Credit: By Sharon Eisenzopf/Shutterstock.com
• Consider installing an adjustable bed to ensure the individual does not fall out or struggle to get in.
• Check that the front door is easily distinguishable
• Make sure that the door lock and keys are easy to use
• Check that the outdoor paving is safe and even
• Make sure there is somewhere sheltered to sit so individuals can rest
• Keep any gates closed so individuals are not tempted to ‘wander’.
Founded in 1989, Helping Hands Home Care has been supporting people living with dementia and their families for more than 26 years. They provide a range of hourly visiting and live-in care services focused on allowing people to stay in their own home and live independent lives. See their website for more information.