Living at home rather than in a care facility can have a very positive impact on a person who has dementia. Staying in a familiar environment can be beneficial for the person with dementia, but from a carer’s perspective caring for a loved one in the home who has dementia can be difficult at times. When lighting into rooms of the home is blocked or too dim, those with dementia may become confused which may cause them to trip and fall.
Additionally, common household items like rugs and extension cords can pose a threat to some being that they are also trip hazards. If things are unorganized or cluttered in the home, it not only is also a trip hazard, but it may cause confusion and disorientation. In the same way, decorative items and furniture that are similarly coloured to flooring or walls can cause confusion in those with dementia. Surprisingly enough, there are many common things in the home that may make life for someone who has dementia a bit more difficult.
Check out these 5 quick and easy tips that you can use to create a dementia-friendly home so the person that you care for feels safer and more independent while also ultimately making your job as their carer a bit easier.
Pay attention to lighting.
- Make sure that natural light is able to filter into the rooms of the home during the day. This will help the person that you care for to be aware of the time of day.
- Consider leaving the light on in the bathroom at night so that the person that you care for is able to find it easily. This can help them to avoid having accidents and soiling themselves as well.
- Ensure that at night there are nightlights or dimly-lit lamps in hallways so that moving around the house is easier and less confusing when it is darker out.
Pay attention to flooring and walkways.
- Remove any rugs or mats that could be a trip hazard. This will help to avoid falls in the home.
- Mark any stairs or uneven surfaces (i.e. a step up or down in between rooms) with brightly coloured tape so that they are easily distinguishable. This can also help prevent falls from happening.
- Remove any patterned rugs or mats, as they may cause disorientation and confusion.
Label where things are located.
- Place a sign on the door of the bathroom to indicate where the toilet is. This can help the person that you care for find the toilet easier and ultimately avoid accidents.
- Label cabinets and cupboards indicating what is inside of each. This can help your loved one find what they are looking for with more ease while also taking some of the stress off of yourself.
Keep things organised and clutter-free.
- Try your best to keep the house as tidy as possible. This will alleviate any confusion, distraction, or falls that may occur due to things lying around the home.
- Ensure that when things are taken out of their place, they are put back when they are no longer being used.
- Make sure that important items (glasses, tv remotes, phones, house keys, etc.) are kept in consistent locations so that they are easily found. This will prevent further confusion in the person that you care for.
Contrasting colours to avoid confusion.
- Make sure that the colour of light switches around the house is different from that of the wall itself. This can will help them to be easier to find by your loved one.
- Remove any furnishings or décor that have strong patterns (i.e. stripes), as they can be potentially disorientating for some who have dementia.
- Contrast the colours of furniture around the home from the colours of walls and floors.
Need more support?
If you are currently caring for someone who has dementia and need support, please do not hesitate to reach out to us! Here at Suffolk Carers Matter, we offer free support, advice, and guidance and even have a free counselling service available should you need it!
CALL us on 01284 333035 – open Monday-Friday 8am-8pm and Saturday-Sunday 10am-2pm.
LIVE CHAT by clicking the blue ask button in the bottom corner of your screen.
Click here to REGISTER with Suffolk Carers Matter.
EMAIL us via our contact form here and we will get back to you.