Making Your Home Dementia Friendly
After a diagnosis of dementia, it’s natural to feel as though control has been taken away from you, as though your whole life has suddenly been swept up from beneath you, like a loose carpet slipping over a wooden floor. But dementia, in the short term, doesn’t have to mean a drastic change in your lifestyle — it certainly doesn’t have to mean that you have to move out of your home. In fact, with some simple modifications, you can manage the dementia and continue to live independently for a fairly long time with only minimal personal care.
At Hands on Care, we specialize in making sure that you can continue to live at home whilst managing your condition. In this blog post, we’ll go through some simple ways you can modify your home, which will enable you to continue living by yourself. If you’d like some more information, contact us today.
Keep The Home Clean
The first thing you should consider, as part of your strategy to make your home dementia friendly, is decluttering. Ideally, your house should be free of clutter, and your things should be arranged in such a way that it’s easy for you to get to your most commonly used and important items. This will help to lessen any confusion that may come up as the dementia progresses, and help anyone who has come in to help you. More importantly, studies have shown that clutter itself causes anxiety. As such, decluttering should be your first priority in your independent personal care strategy.
It’s also a good idea to make signs and labels for things. Doing this will not only lessen confusion during the early stages of dementia, but doing so early will help you to create a sense of familiarity through the later stages of the illness. It also has the secondary effect of helping anyone who comes to help you to find something that you may need or want.
Keep The Home Bright
Another consideration you should think about is making sure you can see everything. Being able to find something quickly will save you from unwanted confusion later on and help visitors. A brighter home will also make you feel more comfortable as the dementia progresses and make self personal care that much easier.
As part of this, it would also be a good idea to consider decorating your home with contrasting colours. Contrasting bright colours maximizes your ability to understand the space around you, even without context, and will lessen your confusion as your condition progresses. As such, brightening up your home (whether through installing bright light bulbs or by painting your walls bright colours) should be one of your first considerations.
Another consideration that you should have as part of your personal care strategy is the amount of mirrors and reflections in your home. These can a trigger inducing and lead to distress. According to New Vision Health Environment, people who are experiencing dementia can often experience a range of emotions, including frustration, fear, and embarrassment because of the belief that there’s a stranger in their home. While this is not true for everyone, it should be something you consider when planning on how to make your home dementia friendly.
Keep The Home Quiet
As dementia progresses, it’s very easy for someone to become confused. The gradual failure of the short term memory means that sudden events — such as fireworks — occur without context. As such, it’s important that your home be quiet throughout the entirety of your personal care. This might mean that you make your neighbours aware of your condition, or it could mean finding somewhere new — somewhere much quieter.
Get in Touch Today To Learn More About Making Your Home Dementia Friendly
As well as these techniques, there are many other ways to make your environment as dementia friendly as possible. If you would like more information on how to make your home dementia safe, or are interested in our services, contact Hands on Care today.