Have you ever taken care of someone with dementia at home? If yes, you will know that sometimes it can be tricky and require a well-developed approach and deep knowledge. However, with proper support, resources, and a dementia-friendly environment, you will have a completely different experience.
According to some studies, around two-thirds of people with dementia live in the community. In some countries, on the other hand, most individuals with dementia live at home. Another study shows that around 850,000 people live with dementia in the UK, which might rise to 1 million by 2025. Approximately two-thirds are living at home and being cared for by family members and home help services․
These numbers raise the importance of creating a dementia-friendly environment.
Making Your Home a Safe and Supportive Environment for People with Dementia
Not only people with dementia but also their loved ones and carers can face some challenges. However, making a more dementia-friendly environment can help improve their quality of life and make daily activities easier to manage.
Creating a safe and supportive environment involves different activities, including making changes to the home environment, using more dementia-friendly colours, ensuring they get the best dementia carer support, etc. By making the needed changes, people who experience dementia can keep their independence while continuing to live in their homes.
Let’s see how dementia-friendly home ideas can help people to improve their life:
Bringing your dementia-friendly home ideas to life is essential in providing quality care for people experiencing this medical condition and improving their well-being.
Here are some tips and tricks to promote safety, independence, and quality of life by making a home more dementia-friendly:
- Minimise the Amount of Clutter and Complexity
Clutter and complexity can confuse people with dementia, making it difficult for them to navigate their surroundings and perform tasks. By simplifying the home environment and reducing the amount of clutter, individuals with dementia can better understand and remember the layout of their homes and feel more comfortable and confident in their ability to move around and focus on different activities.
- Assign Labels to Items
Labelling items is a helpful approach to reduce frustration and anxiety for individuals with dementia, as they can quickly and easily locate the items they need without having to search or rely on memory. You will need to use clear and simple labels with large fonts and high contrast, making them easily readable. This simple approach can help to improve the quality of life for people with dementia.
- Use Dementia-Friendly Colours
Dementia can affect an individual’s perception of colour and depth perception. Using contrasting colours can help them identify and navigate their environment. Dementia-friendly colours are usually soft and muted, as these can reduce confusion and anxiety. Studies show that shades of blue, green, and yellow have a calming effect, so they are often good to use.
- Keep Important Items in an Easily Accessible Place
Dementia can cause memory loss, among other symptoms, which might bring difficulty with organisation, making it difficult for people to find essentials such as medications, keys, and personal care items. By keeping these items in an easily accessible place, individuals with dementia can quickly and easily find what they need. It can help in promoting independence.
- Secure Potentially Dangerous Areas
People may have difficulty recognising potential hazards, and, as a result, they may be at risk of falls, burns, and other serious accidents. It is higher in areas of the home that are potentially dangerous, such as the kitchen, bathroom, and stairs. Securing these areas at home will help to promote their safety and well-being, reduce the risk of accidents and injuries, and provide peace of mind for caregivers and family members.
If your loved one lives with dementia, you might have already faced different challenges as it affects memory, cognition, and behaviour. Sometimes it is hard for people with dementia and their caregivers to navigate a home environment that doesn’t cover their needs.
Making some adjustments and improvements at home, creating a supportive and understanding environment, as well as providing proper care can help reduce confusion and frustration for your loved ones and promote a sense of comfort and familiarity.