We all know that the right environment has a significant impact on our mood. But did you know that it can also help in the treatment of certain illnesses? It can also significantly improve a patient’s comfort and quality of life.
That is why today we are addressing the issue of dementia-friendly environments. How do you create the most comfortable décor for a senior citizen with senile dementia or Alzheimer’s disease? What colour for dementia should you choose? What are the best products for dementia? Find out how to create dementia-friendly environments for your loved ones.
Understanding dementia friendly environments
According to the NHS, there are 850,000 people living in the UK who suffer from dementia, and these numbers are steadily increasing. Therefore, the issues of dementia friendly environments are becoming increasingly relevant to a growing number of people. What is dementia friendly environments? What are the main principles of this concept?
A dementia-friendly environment is one where both the physical and social environment is responsive to the needs of a person with dementia. In the first instance, it is about the patient’s safety. A dementia-friendly home is a safe home, so any items that reduce safety should disappear from the living environment. The next is to think about the well-being and mental development of the older person with dementia. To this end, it is worth exploring the topic of dementia-friendly colours and all kinds of products to improve brain and memory function. You will find hundreds of products and memory aids for dementia on the market to make this task easier.
Top ways to create a dementia-friendly environment at home
Now, let us get down to specifics and practical tips to bring you closer to creating dementia-friendly environments for your loved ones.
Clean space and minimalism
The first step to achieving a dementia-friendly environment is to get rid of unnecessary decorations and rarely used items. It is worth tidying up the space thoroughly and leaving only the things that have the greatest practical or sentimental importance.
A minimalist flat will not stir up as many memories and doubts, will be easier to keep clean and will be safer – nothing will fall, move or cause consternation for a senior with dementia or Alzheimer’s.
The second item on our list is the proper lighting of the living space. Dementia-friendly environments should have as much natural and artificial lighting as possible. It is best to choose high-powered white light bulbs, as this will make it easier for the seniors to find their way around and things in the home. Check that there is natural light coming into the home, make sure nothing is blocking the light coming through the window and ensure that the patient’s bedroom is dark enough at night, as this will help you sleep better.
Keeping reflective surfaces to a minimum can make it much easier for your loved ones to concentrate on the environment around them. Seeing themselves can cause unnecessary confusion, d because they can sometimes struggle to recognise themselves, which can be very emotionally taxing and frustrating. The easiest way to combat this problem is to remove mirrors and close the curtains at night so that individuals cannot see their reflections in the glass.
Signing items is an easy, simple way to make life easier for people with dementia. Marking kitchen cupboards with their contents, and labelling rooms can go a long way to helping people navigate their surroundings and feel more comfortable, as they can always look around for a label if they are unsure where to go.
Labels should be printed or written in a large, clear font so that visually impaired people can read them easily. You can also give non-verbal clues in the home, such as removing doors from cupboards and cabinets so that their purpose is obvious.
People with dementia may find it difficult to distinguish different elements of their surroundings and distinguish the purpose of different objects, so choose things in contrasting colours. This will make it easier for them to pick up the visual cues they need.
Just remember not to overdo it and overwhelm the environment with patterns. Simply use contrasting colours to make items such as handrails or stairs stand out.
Memory aids for dementia
You will find plenty of products for dementia on the internet, but you can also create them yourself. Examples of memory aids for dementia patients could be sticky notes, the aforementioned labels, calendars, notepads, etc. You can also furnish your senior’s home with accessories aimed at improving memory, such as puzzles of all kinds, puzzles and special games and mats for seniors with dementia. Accessories for painting, embroidery and other manual activities are also helpful for relaxation.
Dementia-friendly environments – conclusions
In summary, first make sure the space is reasonably clean and well lit. Then try to incorporate anything that will make the senior citizen feel more at home in the space – labels, notes, dementia-friendly colours, etc.. Finally, add some memory aids for dementia patients and voila. You have created a comfortable environment for the senior.