For someone living with Dementia, the design and layout of their home can have a big impact on their daily life. Making simple changes around the home can make a significant difference, whether it’s removing trip hazards or making sure good lighting is in place. In this guide, we’ll be talking you through seven top tips for making your home Dementia friendly, helping you or your loved one to feel safe and independent at home.
1. Make sure you have good lighting
One of the easiest ways to create a Dementia friendly home is to make sure that natural light can get into the house. Good lighting can help those living with Dementia to see clearly and make sense of where everything is. While natural light is important during the day, what’s equally as important is ensuring your loved ones’ bedroom is dark enough at night. This will not only help them to sleep better, but will also help them to differentiate between daytime and night time during periods of confusion.
2. Ensure safe flooring is in place
Removing trip hazards is one of the most important parts of creating a Dementia friendly environment. Replacing decorative rugs and mats with plain matt flooring can make a big difference to the safety of your loved one, along with removing any cables or wires that may be on show. You should also avoid flooring that is shiny or too similar to the walls to prevent further confusion.
3. Make eating and drinking easier
Mealtimes can be tricky for those living with Dementia, but there are some useful eating and drinking tips you can consider. One of the most effective Dementia friendly home ideas you can try is using plates, cups and tablecloths that contrast with the food you’re serving. This will help your loved one to differentiate between the two. You could also try using clear, plastic containers to store food, so that they can see exactly what is inside.
4. Buy furniture you can see easily
Dementia can affect how well people can tell the difference between colours, so when it comes to how to create a Dementia friendly environment, it’s important to use bright and contrasting pieces to help your loved one see their furniture better. While bright colours can help to avoid trips and falls, it’s important to avoid patterned or striped material as this can cause further confusion.
5. Place reminders around the home
Depending on where your loved one is in their Dementia journey, they may be experiencing problems with remembering where things are kept. One way to make a Dementia friendly home is to try putting pictures or signs on cupboards and drawers to let them know what is inside. When it comes to everyday items that may be needed on a day-to-day basis (such as keys, wallets or mobile phones), try keeping them in a place your loved one is likely to see on their way out – for example, on a sideboard near the front door.
6. Remove any clutter
Untidiness around the home can make any one of us feel confused and distracted, and this can be magnified for those living with Dementia. In order to ensure a Dementia friendly environment, remove any excess clutter and make sure cupboards and drawers are tidy. If you’re caring for someone living with Dementia, try turning off the TV or radio when they’re not watching or listening, so that the noise isn’t confusing or distracting.
7. Consider making home adaptations
The smallest changes can make the biggest difference. And creating a Dementia friendly environment can be made a lot easier by making some simple adaptations around the home. Installing grab rails to hold onto can prevent falls, and smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors can play an important role in keeping your loved one safe. You could also consider connecting sensors to detect whether water has been left running, or if the temperature is too high or low.
How a live-in carer can help make a Dementia friendly home
Here at IP Homecare, we understand that receiving a Dementia diagnosis can be a worrying time. Having to adjust to living with Dementia at home can be difficult – which is why finding the right Dementia care services to support your loved one is so important. With the support of a trusted healthcare professional, our home care plans are tailored entirely around your individual needs and requirements.