7 Simple Ways to Create a Dementia Friendly Home
If your loved one has been diagnosed with dementia, you may be feeling overwhelmed. From changes in memory to swift mood swings, it can be challenging to understand how to best help your loved one.
One of the best ways to support your loved one is by creating a home environment that is dementia friendly. This article will show you some you steps you can take today to create a dementia friendly home to help your loved one thrive.
Common Dementia Related Problems in the Home
We all understand that dementia impacts an individual’s memory, but what often goes undiscussed are some of the other changes that may occur. It’s important to remember that the symptoms an individual with dementia will experience will vary from person to person.
Some of the other common symptoms individuals with dementia may demonstrate are the following:
- Reduced mobility
- Decreased coordination
- Changes in vision
All these symptoms can influence your loved one’s safety when navigating your home environment. Confusion and disorientation paired with poor vision often result in an increased risk of falling. These same factors can also make what were once daily simple daily tasks become frustrating and hazardous challenges.
You can avoid many accidents in your home by intentionally creating a dementia friendly environment. Let’s dive into actionable steps you can take today to transform your home and enhance your loved one’s safety.
1. Use a Fall Alarm
Individuals with dementia may tend to wander out of bed during the night or become quickly disoriented when waking in the morning. This can result in tripping or falling secondary to confusion or a poor ability to see their surroundings.
A simple and effective solution to this problem is to purchase a fall alarm sensor mat. This mat can be placed on their bed and will alert you to when your loved one leaves the bed. You can rest easy knowing that your loved one won’t have a fall in their bedroom with this tool.
[ Recommended Product: MoveAlert Floor Mat with Alarm Sensor ]
2. Minimise clutter
Visual clutter in your home may confuse or overwhelm individuals with dementia. This can make a simple walk down the hall become a daunting task.
By minimizing clutter, you also minimize their frustration and make it easy to safely navigate your home. Fewer items to trip on or become distracted by will also significantly reduce their risk of falling.
3. Lock Cabinets
Some individuals with dementia may not be safe to utilize typical household items. You can prevent mishaps with kitchen knifes and other household appliances by locking them in cabinets with childproof locks.
You may also want to incorporate these locks in bathrooms where you store pharmaceuticals or other potentially harmful substances. A simple childproof lock on cabinets can help give your loved one more independence at home without sacrificing their safety.
4. Make sharp edges bright
It’s important to make sharp edges like steps or cabinet corners obvious by using bright tape or paint. These visual cues will help your loved one avoid falling or inadvertently running into a sharp edge.
You may be thinking you don’t want to have to damage your flooring or cabinets with paint. Don’t stress! Painter’s tape or duct tape that is colored is a great option that won’t damage the underlying surface.
5. Get rid of complex patterns
Busy environments can increase a person with dementia’s sense of disorientation. This disorientation can result in increased moodiness and potentially cause a fall.
Eliminating busy wallpapers or flooring with complicated patterns can make it significantly easier for your loved one to get around safely. In addition to busy wallpapers and flooring, keeping bedding and furniture simple will reduce cognitive overload for your loved one.
6. Organize medications
If you find that keeping your loved ones medications organized and in a safe place is a real hassle, then you may want to consider using an automatic pill dispenser. An automatic pill dispenser allows you to distribute your loved ones medications and then set alarms that dispense them to your loved one at a set rate.
This assures that your loved one gets the medications they need while not taking too many or forgetting to take them altogether. It’s a worthwhile investment that can take a load of stress off of you.
7. Improve lighting
Last, but certainly not least, you can improve the lighting in your home to prevent falls and confusion. Common areas that could use a lighting boost are stairways, hallways, porches, and bathrooms.
Another handy place to have lighting is in the bedroom during the night. Using a nightlight is an effective safety measure that can go a long way for preventing a fall in the middle of the night.
Keep Your Loved One Safe
Keeping your loved one with dementia safe at home doesn’t have to be complicated. Incorporate a few of these simple tips today to help your loved one with dementia avoid falls and flourish at home!