Written by Active Minds on Thursday the 2nd of April 2020.
For those living with dementia the option to stay at home is important as it can help the person to feel comfortable, safe and independent. At the start of the dementia journey, there may only need to be minimal changes made to the home, however as a person progresses on their dementia journey they may require additional changes to be made to their environment in order to help them to continue living happily and comfortably. Here we discuss just some different aspects to consider when preparing for dementia care at home.
Having a good source of natural lighting is important in any home, but even more so for a person living with dementia. For obvious reasons good lighting is essential; to be able to see clearly and make sense of where you are. However, it is also important for things such as mood and sleep; natural lighting helps to regulate the sleep cycle and improves our mood.
Again, this is something to consider in all homes, especially for the elderly. Make sure to remove anything that can be a trip hazard, including things such as rugs, uneven carpet and rigid wooden flooring. Also make sure other trip hazards such as chairs and furniture are removed as necessary.
Keep it Clutter Free
This goes hand in hand with ensuring minimal trip hazards and safe flooring, however ensuring the house is clutter free is essential. Not only does it make trip hazards less likely, but it also means only the essential items are available and accessible in the house; something which can be useful for everyone. It’s still important however to have memorable items available and not to change the environment too much as this may cause confusion.
For those with mobility issues, accessibility is key. Consider adding things such as rails to areas in the home, specifically bedrooms and bathrooms, where accessibility could present an issue. In addition to this, specialist furniture can be purchased which is designed for those with mobility concerns.
As a person progresses on their dementia journey it may become necessary to employ a home care service; should the person wish to stay at home. Whilst some people may prefer to care for their loved ones at home, they may also need extra help. Home care services can give you that helping hand and ensure both the person living with dementia and their family are supported. They can also help ensure your home is suitable for home care.
Secure Household Items
If family members are concerned that their loved one is at risk of endangering themselves with household items such as irons, ovens, knives or other potentially dangerous items these should be secured. Lock them away so that they cannot be accessed unsupervised. This can also be the case for certain medicines, to help avoid any accidents.
Make Use of Technology
In a time when technology is constantly evolving, we are fortunate that there is an array of technologies available which can assist those living with dementia and those caring for them. These include things such as electronic reminders for certain activities such as eating meals and taking medication as well as hearing aids and vision aids.
Due to the evolving technologies and research advances, more and more people living with dementia are able to stay at home for longer. By following the relevant advice and making the necessary adjustments, home care can be beneficial for many.