If a person you love happens to be diagnosed with dementia, your top worries are most likely his or her safety and wellbeing. Fortunately, with a small number of modifications throughout the house, it is possible to create a dementia-friendly atmosphere that encourages continued independence for a cherished older adult, while keeping safety at the forefront.
For those who have Alzheimer’s disease or dementia, structure is key. This means providing support using visual and written cues and giving plenty of time and instructions, when needed, to help him or her perform tasks and sustain independence. By thinking through the tasks where help might be required – for instance, the steps to follow during a morning routine — things like a washcloth, comb, toothpaste, and toothbrush could be put in easy-to-find locations which will help a senior loved one maintain independence.
Establishing a dementia-friendly home is easy when you follow the ABCs: ensure it is Accessible, Bright, and Calm by using these pointers:
Support independence by improving accessibility based on the individual’s particular challenges. For example:
- Label doors, the refrigerator, cabinets as well as other areas of the home the individual uses often with photos or words to clarify whatever they might like to access.
- Place regularly-used items in visible, easy-to-reach areas.
- Minimize any slipping hazards, such as throw rugs and electrical cords, to ensure clear pathways.
Lighting is an essential feature to think about for anybody with dementia:
- Keep rooms well lit, making use of natural light as much as possible, or the highest wattage bulb suitable for the older adult’s light fixtures.
- Always make certain lighting is purposefully positioned to eliminate shadows, which can cause the senior distress.
- Keep blinds/curtains closed later in the day to help eliminate upsetting window reflections that could be misinterpreted as a burglar and also to help the senior feel safe.
Assigning a place of retreat for your loved one to unwind can be extremely beneficial. Include:
- Some key items or activities which are typically comforting for the older adult: a well-liked picture album to look through, a stuffed animal or pillow to hug, etc.
- Quiet, soothing music.
- A favorite scent that evokes comfort, such as vanilla or lavender.
Perhaps one of the most effective strategies to help a beloved older adult who has been identified as having dementia is to partner with a trusted home care provider like Hillendale Home Care. Our care providers are specially trained to understand the needs of those with dementia or Alzheimer’s disease and will help make the home a safe and comforting space. What’s more, our care team can help your family member remain active and engaged with specially designed memory care exercises, reminiscing, and outings to see friends. For family care providers, our reliable respite care services enable you to have peace of mind while taking time for yourself.
For more home modification tips and ideas, or to obtain a complimentary in-home assessment to learn more about our expert, creative care for people diagnosed with dementia, get in touch with Hillendale Home Care, the leaders in home health care in Danville and the surrounding areas, at 925-933-8181.