Dementia Friendly Homes: Top Tips

Dementia Friendly Homes: Top Tips

Dealing with a family member who had dementia can be incredibly difficult. Dementia is a debilitating illness and it can have a huge impact on the people who suffer as well as those around them. Dealing with a neurological illness such as this can be difficult and we often need to make preparations for a new lifestyle.

This post looks at dementia at home and how you can prepare your home to handle this. This is not an exhaustive resource by any means. If you have any concerns about your health or that of a family member please see the GP initially for aid and signposting towards additional support services.

Let in the light

Light can be a great way to stimulate the mind, and for those with dementia, it can help keep their minds active and on task.

Close Curtains at Night

This has two purposes for those living with dementia. The first reason to close the drapes at night is to tell the person that it is night time and therefore that they should go to sleep. As well as this, it will stop reflections appearing in the windows that may spook or scare the sufferer. Keeping the home calm is a huge part of managing the illness.

Remove Rugs 

Often those who have dementia are often less steady on their feet and they are much more likely to trip and fall over the corner of a rug. To prevent this, remove all rugs from the home and instead install plush carpets.

Remove Tripping Hazards

Following on from the point above, it is important for us to remove any tripping hazards from the home that may otherwise hurt the patient. Ensure that there are no wires crossing the floor and get rid of clutter, leaving a safe space.

Keep a Phone Book Next to the Phone

One of the things you need to ensure when caring for someone with dementia is that they have a phone book next to the phone so that they can communicate with others. It may also be helpful to add photos and illustrations next to different phone numbers so that the person can easily pick out who they want to call.

Remove or Cover Mirrors

One of the behavioural symptoms of dementia can be paranoia. Sometimes the presence of a mirror can be an issue in the home of a dementia sufferer as they may think someone else is in the house with them and become distressed. If this is the case, consider turning mirrors around or removing them and replacing them with bright coloured artwork to stimulate the eyes. 

Use Calming Colours 

When decorating the room, it is important for you to choose calming colours that will relax the patient. It is a good idea to choose pastel tones that are easy on the eyes and avoid clashing colours.

 Pin a To Do List on the Fridge

For someone with dementia, it is a good idea to pin a to do list to the fridge to allow them to keep to a daily routine. This could be something as simple as:

  •         Brush teeth
  •         Have breakfast
  •         Feed the cats
  •         Have a shower

Having a simple list of reminders will help the dementia sufferer be more independent and look after themselves.

Label Items With Colourful Stickers and Photos

If your family member has trouble finding items such as a mug, plate, bowl or book, it is a good idea to label things in the cupboard with colourful tags and photos. 

Again, this is not an exhaustive list. Please look at national and local dementia support services for more aid specific to your needs.