We would like to share some little hints and tips, simple things, that can be done to adapt the houses of those you love that are living with Dementia, to enable them to live in their home environment, that they know and love, for longer!
Home Adaptations for Living with Dementia
This can include environmental hazards (cleaning products and equipment) and trip & fall hazards (unnecessary items, shoes, clutter). Less hazards can reduce the risk of falls and gives the individual more space to move around and walk if they are unable to get outside.
Covering Unnecessary Buttons
Covering the buttons that are not needed and leaving simple instructions allows some independence and enables the person living with Dementia to live at home for longer.
Use of Contrasting Colors
Using contrasting colors is a great way to make things stand out that needs to be seen, such as light switches, important switches & important cupboards. Enabling someone living with Dementia to find things for themselves can give them independence and ultimately help them live independently for longer.
Decluttering can help both physically and mentally (not only for them but also for their loved ones and carers). Decluttering can also reduce the risk of falls and gives the individual more space to move around and walk if they are unable to get outside.
Slip & Trips Risks
Being Mindful of Slip & Trip Risks is extremely important. Good lighting can also help with this as well as ensuring that items are kept in the same place and things are not moved about. Less hazards can reduce the risk of falls and gives the individual more space to move around and walk if they are unable to get outside.
Plastic Utensils & Cutlery
This can be extremely beneficial if your loved one has a tendency to bite the cutlery (as we all know that biting metal utensils and cutlery can cause damage to teeth, gums and the inside of the mouth!). Plastic utensils and cutlery are also a lot lighter and easier to handle, compared with metal, and thus can assist as dexterity and strength decreases as the Dementia progresses.
Grip & Handle Bars
Installing grip bars (handle bars), or grab rails, at the side of the bath or shower and even by the bed to help with steadiness and getting up and down. These may be useful in other areas too.
The Color RED
Red is one of the final colors that a person living with Dementia will be able to see as their eyesight deteriorates and the Dementia progresses. So, using RED within their home to show up important items, cupboards, hazards and anything else that you want to bring to their attention is a great idea. If you want some more information on the use of the color RED, check out our article.
Good lighting can really support a person when making adaptations that will enable them to live independently for longer. This will ensure that the individual can access places more easily, be more aware of hazards and also find things much more readily.
Are all the Doors Necessary?
Doors and cupboards can be extremely confusing… Where do they go to? Maybe consider whether the doors are really needed or could they be removed (safely and without presenting a fire hazard/risk) or could they be covered and hidden to make your loved one feel safer?
Using Baby Shampoo
Using Baby Shampoo…I love the smell of this! It is so sensitive and can really assist with shower/bath and hair wash time.
A shower chair can make showering SO much easier and safer for loved ones, whether living with Dementia or just becoming a bit more vulnerable and unsteady on their feet
Reminder: Remove Hearing Aids
Have a little reminder on the shower door to “REMOVE HEARING AIDS” as they see so many that need repairs or replacements due to being damages/broken by accidental wearing in the shower. A simple tip but so helpful!
Having an adjustable bed can make the whole process of getting both in and out of bed a whole lot easier. Although the initial outlay could be costly, an adjustable bed will enable your loved one to get in and out of bed a lot more easily using buttons that are simple to use.
Powered Riser-Recliner Chairs
Powered Riser-Recliner Chairs may be much easier for your loved ones to get in and out of rather than a normal armchair or sofa that may not provide adequate support.
Motion Sensor Lights
Motion Sensor Lights are a great idea as they come on when movement is detected without your loved one having to remember to turn on lights or remember where switches are. These can be very handy near the bed or toilet to assist when getting up in the night time.
Check Smoke Alarms
Smoke alarms are so important but it is even more important to make sure they are working! Smoke alarms should be checked regularly, as well as Carbon monoxide detectors. These are so important, especially for those likely to forget that things are cooking or that the cooker has been left on.
Keeping a small list of emergency telephone numbers in a memorable location, or by the telephone, is so helpful. Depending on ease of use and ability, it may be possible and helpful to have a simple with emergency contacts and useful numbers already saved in the phone.
Having a Key Safe means that those that are trusted can have access to the property without your loved one having to get up and open the door each time. This can save time for your loved one but is also great in times of emergency when immediate access is required or your loved one is unresponsive.
Wind Chimes on Doors
Placing small bells and windchimes around the handles of exterior doors… This gives an alert to others in the household that an exterior door is being opened without causing a fright or alarm. A simple tip but so helpful!
A trolley is a simple yet effective way to help move items, especially those with a bit of weight, from one place to another without putting too much pressure on our loved ones. The trolley can also double-up as a little support when assistance is needed to help move from one room to another
Easy Reach Grabber
These can be so handy for many many things! Whether helping with getting dressed, picking things up throughout the day or getting items from hard to reach places, this simple tool can be so effective!
A safety plug in the sink or bath will only allow the water to reach a certain level before unplugging. This can help to prevent flooding especially for those that are prone to turning on the taps in the sink or bath and then getting distracted or forgetting.
Long Handle Shoe Horn
A long handle shoe horn is simple but can be so very effective. This can give those with less mobility and flexibility the independence they still want and enable them to dress themselves and put their shoes on without having to ask for, or wait for, assistance.