5 ways to make your home dementia-friendly

As our loved ones age, it is essential to create an environment that ensures their safety, comfort, and overall well-being. It is especially important to create a dementia-friendly space for your loved ones living with dementia.

As dementia experts at Crouched Friars, we believe that simple adjustments can significantly enhance their quality of life, reduce stress, and promote independence. While we ensure that every care is taken at our home in Colchester to provide a comfortable and nurturing space for our residents living with dementia, we believe that some measures can be taken to do the same at home.

When a family member is living with dementia, modifying the home to be dementia-friendly can be useful. 

 

Here are five practical ways to make your home dementia-friendly:

Simplify and declutter your space:

Dementia can lead to cognitive decline, making it difficult for people to process complex information and navigate cluttered spaces. To create a dementia-friendly home, start by simplifying the environment. Reduce unnecessary furniture, decorations, and objects that may cause confusion or accidents. Keep hallways and walkways clear to prevent tripping hazards. You may consider using contrasting colours on walls and floors to improve visibility and aid orientation.

By decluttering and organising, you can make the living space more accessible and easier to comprehend.

 

Clear signs and labels:

Labels and signs can play a significant role in helping people with dementia maintain their independence and confidence.

Use clear, easy-to-read labels on cabinets, drawers, and shelves, indicating the contents within. Consider placing visual cues and signs for essential rooms, such as the bathroom, bedroom, and kitchen.

Using pictures or symbols alongside text can be particularly helpful for those with memory impairment. This helps them to identify the intended areas and items with greater ease.

 

Implement basic safety measures:

Safety should be a top priority when making your home dementia-friendly. Install handrails and grab bars in bathrooms and along staircases to prevent slips and falls. Use childproof locks on cabinets containing potentially harmful items like cleaning supplies or sharp objects.

You might also consider installing a home security system that can notify any caregivers or family members. This can be especially useful if the person with dementia wanders or experiences a fall.

These safety measures help reduce the risk of accidents or injuries so that you can rest assured knowing your loved ones are safe.

 

Create a calm and familiar atmosphere:

People living with dementia may become easily overwhelmed by loud noises, bright lights, or unfamiliar surroundings.

You could make small adjustments around your home to provide a calming and familiar atmosphere. Soft, natural lighting and soothing colours can create a more relaxed environment. Familiar objects and cherished belongings can also bring both positive memories and comfort.

Also consider playing gentle, familiar music, as it can have a soothing effect and help reduce agitation.

 

Supportive communication:

Effective communication is essential for maintaining a positive and supportive environment for individuals with dementia.

Use simple and clear language when talking to your loved one. Provide ample time for them to process information and respond. Be patient and avoid interrupting or correcting them unnecessarily. Maintain eye contact and use gestures to facilitate understanding and connection. Encourage open conversations and actively listen to their feelings and needs.

Creating a dementia-friendly home is a compassionate and proactive approach to supporting your loved ones living with dementia. It helps support well-being not to mention maintaining their independence for as long as possible. 

Embracing small adjustments can make a significant difference in the daily experience of your loved ones.  

You can find more detailed information about making your home dementia-friendly in this handy guidebook by The Alzheimer’s Society: https://www.alzheimers.org.uk/get-support/publications-factsheets/making-your-home-dementia-friendly

If you need to speak to someone about this or need any support, please feel free to contact us at 01206 572647 or drop by our home for a chat.

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