Making Your Home Dementia-Friendly: 10 Helpful Tips

As dementia progresses, the home environment can become increasingly challenging to navigate. However, making some adjustments and adaptations can help create a space that is both safe and dementia-friendly. Here are 10 tips for making your home more accessible for someone living with dementia:

Declutter rooms by removing unnecessary furniture and items. This creates open spaces that are easier to move around. Also get rid of trip hazards like rugs and cables so the floors are flat and clear.

  • Use Contrasting Colors

Replace shiny floors or carpets with matte surfaces in plain, dark colors that contrast walls. Contrast makes objects and furniture more visible. Use bright, distinctive colors for things like furniture, dishes, and toilet seats. Avoid busy patterns that can be confusing.

  • Label Cupboards and Drawers

Put up pictures, signs, or labels on cabinets and drawers to identify contents. This aids memory and helps locate items. Maintain consistent storage so items stay in the same places.

  • Install Clear Lighting 

Install adequate lighting throughout the home, especially in entryways, halls, and bathrooms. Use nightlights and automatic lights. Replace bulbs regularly for maximum brightness. Avoid shadows or glare from harsh lighting.

  • Adapt the Bathroom 

Install grab bars, non-slip mats, and a raised toilet seat if needed. Use contrasting colors for toilet seat/lid and towels. Get a shower chair and handheld adjustable showerhead. Keep only essentials in the bathroom.

  • Adjust Kitchen Appliances 

Swap out stove knobs for easier-to-use controls or disable the gas. Label appliances with pictures/words. Replace glass containers with transparent plastic so contents are visible. Use colorful dinnerware that contrasts the table.

  • Post Memory Aids 

Use calendars, clocks, whiteboards, and reminders to help orient to time and daily schedule. Post simple pictures or instructions for tasks like taking medication.

  • Arrange Furniture for Ease of Use 

Rearrange furniture to create open pathways for moving around safely. Seat person with dementia near exits and away from noisy areas. Make sure chairs and beds are easy to get in/out of.

  • Ensure Adequate Lighting 

Install motion sensor or automatic lights, especially for bathrooms, hallways, and entrances. Use plug-in or portable nightlights to illuminate paths. Replace bulbs regularly. Close blinds at night to reduce shadows.

  • Adjust Home Safety Features

Install or adjust safety features like smoke/CO2 detectors, temperature monitors on water, automatic stove shut-off devices, and alarm systems. Lock up medications, chemicals, sharp objects.

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With some adaptations and safety proofing, you can make a home much more dementia-friendly. Consult an occupational therapist for advice on ideal changes. Focus on making the environment easy to navigate, calm, and safe.

 

 

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