Tip : Reduce Decisions
While you shouldnt prevent people with dementia from their options, it is wise to reduce the number of their decisions. Simply put, you need to find a balance so that they are still allowed to choose but not to a point where they may feel overwhelmed.
For example, if you need to take this person to the doctor, allow them to choose the outfit. However, instead of opening the wardrobe and letting them choose from a wide variety of pieces, you can simply grab 2 or 3 outfits at most and let them choose from those.
Creating A Relaxing Environment
Having dementia is very stressful and exhausting. All the problems of dementia, including agitation, sleeplessness, wandering and aggression, are made worse by stress. Stress can be reduced with environmental changes. Each person with dementia is different, so work at finding solutions that suit the individual. Remember to draw on all the senses and avoid overstimulation.
How To Create A Dementia
Thoughtful design and adaptation can make a living environment dementia-friendly and allow those with the condition to stay at home for longer with live-in care.
A diagnosis of Alzheimers or a related dementia will present many challenges, but one of the most immediate will be in adapting the home to best address the persons needs and safety. Although in early stage dementia there may not be a need for extreme change, it is important to consider how things might progress and what provision you will need to put in place to cope. Even simple design changes, that are well thought out, can have a powerful impact on helping people with dementia stay in their homes for longer, according to recent research by the University of Stirling, among others.
Independence for the older adult and reduced stress on the caregiver are key to optimising the home environment for the new reality of dementia, as a diagnosis rarely comes with a time frame and the person may live at home with the condition for five years or 15 they may also remain in the early stage of dementia longer than the end stage, or vice versa.
Either way, with the growing popularity of live-in dementia care, where a caregiver moves into the persons home, those with dementia are increasingly empowered to stay in their own familiar environment for longer and that environment that should also reflect this and support them.
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Visit Promote Or Start A Memory Caf
Memory cafés welcome people with dementia, their families, and friends. They’re in a variety of places including coffeehouses, museums, or community organizations:
- Check out our directory of memory cafés and visit one in your area.
- Post flyers around town to promote memory cafés. Request flyers from Beth Soltzberg at .
Labels And Signs Can Help Someone Get Around
Labels and signs on cupboards and doors can be helpful, such as a toilet sign on the bathroom or toilet door. Signs should be:
- have words and an appropriate picture that contrast with the background
- placed slightly lower than normal as older people tend to look downwards
It may also help to put photos on cupboards and drawers to show what’s inside them. For example, you could put a photo of cups or mugs on the cupboard that contains these.
Alternatively, see-through cupboard doors can be a great help to someone with dementia, as they can then see what’s inside.
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As Technology Continues To Advance Along With Our Understanding Of Dementia And How To Support Those Living With It So Too Will The Ways In Which We Can Provide Ever Safer And More Supportive Environments
The Alzheimers Society has plenty of good advice on making homes dementia-friendly, including a downloadable PDF entitled Equipment, adaptations and improvements to the home.
Dementia Care UK has an on-line room-by-room guide and e-learning course to making the home more dementia friendly. The course is free but you have to login to get a password to join it.
A good starting point to find out more about assistive technology for people with dementia is by visiting the AT Dementia site.
As Cities And Villages Look For Ways To Be More Accessible And Navigable For Older Adults And People Living With Dementia Experts Heed Caution Against Segregating Spaces And Urge Focus On Togetherness And Inclusion
Dementia-friendly communities, or age-friendly cities, are defined by the World Health Organization as places where healthcare, socializing and security are adapted to those in the community to enhance their quality of life.
As the worlds population skews older and the prevalence of dementia grows worldwide, more communities are looking for ways to be age- and dementia-friendly: Some of these include creating simple signage and navigational help, clearing and decluttering walking routes, and strategically placing landmarks and visual cues like floor lines to help people navigate.For example, urban planner Samantha Biglieri discovered through her research on dementia-inclusive design that placing clues around an area, like accessible signs and monuments, can assist in navigation for someone living with dementia as the markers provide reminders of how to get from one place to another.
Some communities have taken the needs of people living with dementia to the next level: A village in France where all residents are living with Alzheimers, per an experiment by the French government, is fully equipped with a grocery store, a hair salon, a coffee parlor and even music recitals. Any positive outcomes of the environment are measured in hopes it may slow down the progression of Alzheimers, while providing an autonomous lifestyle.
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Tip : Set Up Home Routines
One of the best things you can do to stay organized in your home when someone has dementia is to set up a routine. This is just like when you have a baby. A routine helps to deliver comfort and security in an uncertain world.
Its best to have an activity and care plan in place that allows everyone in the home to know all the activities that are planned for each day. Place the plan somewhere in the home thats very central and noticeable perhaps a whiteboard in the kitchen and direct them to it each day. The fewer changes you make to the plan, the better. For example, if the person in your home suffering from dementia is used to reading a book after lunch, avoid scheduling a doctors appointment at that time.
Six: Identify Areas For Local Action
Taking action is the most important part of any dementia-friendly community. You dont have to tackle everything at once. Speaking to local people with dementia can help you identify what your priorities should be.
We suggest using the BSI PAS1365: A code of practice for dementia-friendly communities to help you. This guide offers eight key areas for action and some suggested actions for communities:
- arts, culture, leisure and recreation
- businesses and shops
- children, young people and students
- community, voluntary, faith groups and organisations
- emergency services
See our sector specific guides to find out how you can become a dementia friendly organisation
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Make Your Organisation More Dementia Friendly
Find out how to make your organisation dementia friendly with support from our Dementia Friends initiative and sector specific resources.
We support hundreds of organisations to become dementia friendly. Take these steps to raise dementia awareness in your organisation and support people with dementia to live well in their communities.
Invest In Signs And Labels
These are essential when you want to create a dementia-friendly home because they can help the person with the illness get around with ease.
Place the signs and labels on doors and cupboards.
For instance, you can put up a toilet or bathroom sign on their respective doors. Only use signs and labels that are clear and have appropriate pictures and text.
You should also place these in a slightly lower position because seniors often look downwards. Placing photos on cupboards explaining the contents might also be helpful.
For example, you can place a photo of a plate in a cupboard that stores plates. Then again, you can always use see-through cupboard doors so that the person with the illness can easily see what is inside.
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Seven: Monitor Your Progress
Now youve got the ball rolling, youll need to plan how youll measure your progress. Many communities host regular meetings to share their updates on their actions, but you can choose whats right for you.
As a recognised community, well want to know how youre getting on 6 months after your application. Youll then keep us up-to-date with a yearly assessment. However you can update your progress as much as you want over the year.
Quality Of Life At Home
Understanding the changes that can affect someone with dementia is helpful in order to provide a firm foundation for adapting the environment. Areas that might be affected as the disease progresses include judgment , sense of time and place , behavior, physical ability and senses .
However, the extent to which these areas are affected will differ from individual to individual some may experience all these changes and within a short amount of time, while others may only experience some or changes may be moderate in someone else, but occur over a longer period of time. Again, the lack of a timeline for developments within dementia is not set, making it a highly individual process, which adds to the challenge of adapting the home successfully.
The first thing to do is to assess the home carefully, identifying objects and areas of possible danger. Pay attention to whether someone can get outside easily or to other dangerous areas such as the kitchen, garage, or basement? As a baseline, it is advisable to focus on identifying possible risks and taking preventative measures, rather than trying to reteach an elderly person about safety, even in the early stages of dementia.
But encouraging and supporting quality of life for someone with dementia is about more than just safety management. A home should remain true to its spirit this is after all their familiar environment and should remain a nurturing and warm place to live.
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General Tips For Any Room In The House
- Keep window coverings open throughout the day to allow natural light in, and close them only as needed to complete daily routines. Keep windows clean. Close drapes at night to avoid reflections on the window and to indicate it is nighttime.
- Tape down area rugs, or remove altogether. Remove all tripping hazards and clutter. Remove any cables or wires that are running across the floor.
- Keep a list of phone numbers with the telephone. If necessary, add photos to the numbers so that they are recognizable.
- If looking into mirrors becomes a problem for the one with dementia, cover or remove them.
- Keep upholstery and floor patterns simple, and with minimal pattern. Avoid clashing colors. On floors, avoid wavy lines, stripes, or changes of color between rooms.
- Replace socket and switch plates with ones that are a contrasting color to the wall.
- Use a small bulletin board for your loved ones daily routine and to do list. Direct your loved one to it everyday.
- Have a designated area to drop the keys, glasses, mail, etc.
- Label the contents of drawers and cupboards using colorful photo images, cards or post-it notes. Do the same with doors, placing signs eye level for the one with dementia.
- Leave internal doors to the most commonly used rooms open.
- Keep household water temperature at or below 120 degrees.
- Keep household cleaners in a locked cabinet.
Ut Health San Antonio
UT Health San Antonio School of Nursing is committed to educational practices that will prepare our future nursing workforce to provide science-based compassionate care to families touched by dementia. With the Caring for the Caregiver program leading the initiative, this proximity provides ongoing opportunities for engaging faculty, staff, and students in dementia friendly opportunities. Examples of activities already in place to nurture awareness and respect for people living dementia include faculty encouraging students to become dementia friends and providing credit for this activity in relevant classes. Students are encouraged to become a dementia friend and through clinical rotations, students are experiencing the virtual dementia tour to increase their understanding and empathy for people living with dementia.
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Tip : Find A Place For Everything
As we mentioned above, home organizing is incredibly important for someone with dementia. The truth is that its not hard for people with dementia to struggle to remember where to find things in the kitchen, for example. In case they are trying to prepare tea and they cant remember that the mugs are in one place and the tea bag in a different place, they wont probably even bother looking for them. And this can end up hurting their overall health causing frustration. Dont move items around to different places in the home. Keep things functional and in their designated places, and ensure you use labels and signs as mentioned above.
Tip : Keep Their Surroundings Clutter Free
Its important to keep their surroundings as clutter free as you can to avoid overwhelm and frustration. Researchers from Princeton University found that clutter can actually have an impact on ones ability to focus on a given task specifically stating that the visceral cortex can get overwhelmed by task irrelevant objects. If this is possible for someone without dementia, think about how much more important is is to keep your space clutter free and organized for one suffering with dementia. In the bedroom for example, remove all clutter from the floor to ensure your loved one doesnt trip and fall keeping all shoes and slippers in the closet when not in use. Situate their bed so its facing the way to the bathroom, leaving the bathroom light on at night. In the kitchen, ensure surfaces are clutter free and that there is a space for everything.
Home organizing may not be very easy when you live with or need to take care of someone with dementia. However, it doesnt need to be hard either. Overall, you need to think that home organizing is crucial to ensure the person doesnt feel agitated, frustrated or stressed and most importantly, for their overall safety. If you find yourself in the position of needing to organize your home to accommodate someone with dementia and need a little extra support feel free to call us! Were more than happy to help and make this an easy transition for all involved.
Schedule a free, no obligation, pre-assessment chat.
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Register With Our Dementia Friends Initiative
Dementia Friends is an easy and effective way for organisations to increase awareness and understanding. From a 5 minute video to a 45 minute presentation, there are a range of roll out methods to suit your structure.
After registering you will gain access to resources and information aimed at helping members of your organisation understand dementia and how it may affect customers or employees.
Making Your Home Dementia Friendly
Kathleen Allen, LCSW, C-ASWCM
Senior Care Management Services, LLC
- Expert Advice
Learn helpful tips, room by room, on how to modify your home to make it safe and friendly for those living with dementia.
As a caregiver for someone with dementia or Alzheimers, you know the challenges. One such challenge may be adapting your living space to better accommodate your loved ones changing needs. This month we thought we would look around the house, room by room, and see how it can be modified to make it more dementia friendly. When your home incorporates the elements of dementia friendly design, your loved ones risk of falling is reduced, his memory is aided, and he has more freedom to use his own abilities. A good design helps your loved one thrive.
Before going through each room, we will first review some elements of good dementia design.
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Working To Make Dane County Dementia Friendly
Building a dementia-friendly community takes time, dedication, and the commitment of every person, business, and organization. What is a dementia-friendly community? It is a place where individuals with dementia:
- Are able to live good and comfortable lives.
- Have the ability to live as independently as possible.
- Continue to be a functional part of their communities.
- Are met with patience and understanding.
- Are given support where necessary.
The Dementia Care Specialist works with communities in Dane County to raise awareness about people with dementia and their needs. Libraries, city services, businesses, churches, and other organizations form coalitions to address the issues and learn better ways to serve those with dementia and their families. Improved communication helps increase compassion and promote involvement in the program. To find out about initiatives in your community .
# Dont Ask Too Much About Facts And Events
People with dementia find it difficult to tell extensively about what they have experienced in a day. Ask questions like How was your day? And Have you had a pleasant day? They can answer these questions clearly and briefly.
All these tips are about what you can do to help and assist the person with dementia. But what should you not do?
- Do not try to correct or contradict too much. With this you put the focus on what they cant do or know.
- Do not talk too loudly or too quickly. Dont whisper either. Make sure you talk calmly and are clearly understood.
- Do not behave happier than you feel. Someone with dementia will immediately notice that you are not really happy.
- Dont ask too much from someone with dementia. For example, dont let him list all the names of the family. View step by step what works and what doesnt.
These are some tips that can generally be used to make a person with dementia feel good and to assist them in their daily life. Are you curious about more tips and tricks and are you curious about what else there is to learn? Then do one of the free online tests on www.samendementievriendelijk.nl. It takes a maximum of 15 minutes, but you and your customers / visitors get so much in return! It is in Dutch, but translating it is not that hard!
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