Dementia is a progressive health condition. This means that symptoms start out mild at first, but worsen over time. For older adults diagnosed with dementia, you may find that their memory and comprehension skills will decline along the way, making it much harder for them to remember information, think, and reason. Therefore, in order to ensure that your loved ones are well-protected at all times and live in a safe and secure environment, it’s important to create a dementia-friendly home. Here are some ways to do so.
Always Remove Clutter
Regardless of where you’re at, clutter always poses much danger. If the floor is filled with clutter, this can make it difficult for anyone to move around, especially so for older adults with dementia as poor vision can also prevent them to see things clearly. Such clutter can no doubt cause them to fall or suffer from serious accidents like head injuries and fractures. Therefore, to allow older adults to move around freely at home without having to be worried about their safety, make sure the house is free of clutter at all times.
Use Contrasting Colors
Considering that some older adults may forget where a specific area is located in the house, you can help them by employing contrasting colors to make these rooms stand out. For example, for the bathroom door, you can use a different color, preferably one that’s bright, to attract your loved ones. This works if the house is mostly filled with neutral tones, which allows such colors to be instantly noticeable. However, this method should be practiced carefully as too many clashing colors can visually overwhelm older adults and cause confusion, potentially leading to aggression.
Place Easy-to-Read Clock and Calendar
Re-gaining the ability to understand what time and date it is plays a crucial role in improving cognitive function in the long run. If you find that your loved ones have a hard time reading and understanding traditional clocks and calendars, you can purchase those that are digital and present information like time, date, and even weather in a clear format. These clocks and calendars are specifically created for the elderly diagnosed with dementia and can be placed on their bedside tables or around the house.
Make Mealtimes More Engaging
A common symptom of dementia is a lack of appetite. Some older adults may either not be willing to eat their meals or have a hard time concentrating during mealtimes. At times, this can cause much stress and irritation to not only caregivers but their family members and those around them as well. However, it’s not all bad news as there are ways to motivate them to eat. For example, you can remove or limit distractions like noise and the television in order to create a more soothing environment. Other ways include decorating the dinner space, using plates that help to make the food look more appealing, and changing up the menu to suit their tastes.
Add Photos Around the House
Some older adults may tend to forget the faces of their family members and friends. To help them maintain their memory for as long as possible and to create a more pleasant living space, you can add photos and mementos around the house to encourage reminiscing and evoke positive memories.