Wall Murals & Wall Art Can Improve Treatment And Outcomes In Dementia & Memory Care Facilities
What will you find in this article?
Theres a lot of conflicting information out there regarding the use of décor that stimulates vs. décor that soothes. Short answer: most patient populations require both environments.
All dementia and Alzheimers patients are not the same. Even the same patient may have different needs on different days or different parts of the day. Wall murals offer an excellent and cost efficient way to create different spaces for different needs while still achieving cohesive design across your cognitive care facility.
Reminiscence Therapy employs décor that brings the well-remembered past alive. Wall murals and other wall art depicting bygone days, or just images that are immediately recognizable to all of your clients, can create familiar and comforting care environments.
Wall murals can make the areas where you want your patients to congregate more attractive and those spaces you want to dissuade them from;gathering less attractive. Dining room décor can help stimulate the appetite. Bathing rooms can be turned into inviting spas. Exits and elevators can be disguised. Way-finding signage can be clear and attractive.
Theres a lot of information out there. Much of it contradictory.
How stimulating should dementia care environments be?
First, lets address the major disparity among the suggestions youll find if you scrub through 100 pages of search results for wall art and dementia care yourself.
Treatment And Other Helpful Guidelines
Mrs. Ws treatment team worked with her husband and her to preserve her independence, self-esteem, and quality of life as fully as possible. Although no medications carry a specific FDA indication or have been proven effective in reducing PCA symptoms, doctors often prescribe cholinesterase inhibitors such as donepezil , rivastigmine , or Razadyne or the glutamatergic medication memantine . This makes sense because AD plaques and tangles are so often the underlying cause of PCA.
Modifying the Home
As with AD, the clinical management of PCA goes far beyond the use of medication. A geriatric care manager in communication with Mrs. Ws treatment team helped to make her home a safer place for someone with her visual difficulties. Clutter was removed, and labels were applied to drawers so that she could find things more easily. Throw rugs were removed or replaced with non-skid floor coverings. Stickers were put on glass doors and large windows so that Mrs. W would see them more easily. ;Adequate lighting was arranged in all rooms with attention to reducing glare.
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Stage : Moderate Dementia
Patients in stage 5 need some assistance in order to carry out their daily lives. The main sign for stage 5 dementia is the inability to remember major details such as the name of a close family member or a home address. Patients may become disoriented about the time and place, have trouble making decisions, and forget basic information about themselves, such as a telephone number or address.
While moderate dementia can interfere with basic functioning, patients at this stage do not need assistance with basic functions such as using the bathroom or eating. Patients also still have the ability to remember their own names and generally the names of spouses and children.
A Brief History Of Awareness Ribbons
The awareness ribbon made its debut in 1979. The very first ones were literally yellow ribbons tied around an old oak tree. They were used to support the American embassy during the Iranian hostage Crisis.
Perhaps the biggest moment in ribbon history, though, came in 1991 when Charlotte Haley created pink ribbons to bring attention to breast cancer. Her ribbons were so successful, they became the symbol for Breast Cancer Awareness Month and inspired more colors for other causes, such as red ribbons for the AIDS movement in the 80s.
From that point on, ribbons were a popular part of raising awareness. The New York Times even named 1992 The Year of the Ribbon in their publication. Today, theyre widely used by non-profits, charities, fundraisers, and other organizations around the world.
Stage : Mild Cognitive Impairment
Clear cognitive problems begin to manifest in stage 3. A few signs of stage 3 dementia include:
- Getting lost easily
- Noticeably poor performance at work
- Forgetting the names of family members and close friends
- Difficulty retaining information read in a book or passage
- Losing or misplacing important objects
- Difficulty concentrating
Patients often start to experience mild to moderate anxiety as these symptoms increasingly interfere with day to day life. Patients who may be in this stage of dementia are encouraged to have a clinical interview with a clinician for proper diagnosis.
Alzheimers Q&a: How Do You Keep Those With Dementia Safe In A Long
Infection prevention strategies to prevent the spread of coronavirus pandemic are especially challenging in long-term care environments as res
The use of contrast is extremely important for marking edges of things, drawing attention to furniture or other tripping hazards and making it easier to locate food on the plate or find the toilet seat in a white on white bathroom. Contrast can be used to help define objects more clearly. Using a color that contrasts with the background draws attention to key features. For example, use a contrasting wall color so that it can be easier to locate switches and sockets, railings and handrails. Doors of the bathroom can be painted a different color than other rooms in the house for easier identification. Using a contrasting color in the kitchen to highlight edges of cabinets helps affected individuals locate themselves within their surroundings and reduces accidental injuries from edges.
In addition to the environment, look at other ways using color for the affected individual. Incorporate color in the individual’s wardrobe, using his/her favorite colors. Reports show that individuals feel happier when wearing colors such as coral, peach and variations of orange.
Questions about Alzheimer’s disease or a related disorder can be sent to Dana Territo, the Memory Whisperer, director of services at Alzheimer’s Services of the Capital Area at or visit the the organization at 3772 North Blvd., Baton Rouge.
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Color Preference And Dementia
I once went to a dementia course where I learned, gratefully, that red was the best color to use if I wanted to get my patients attention. ;Armed with this information, I started using the color red as a strategy to improve attention to the environment. ;Red garbage cans, red stop signs, red toothbrush, red cup I told every caregiver the secret to success was the color red.
Then I went to a dementia course where the presenter shared the news that lime green was the best color to use with my patients with dementia if I wanted them to remember to use their walker, attend to a sign, or find their rooms. ;Again, I shared the news that lime green was now the color of choice for Alzheimers and visual attention.
A colleague of mine had heard bright blue was best, so that was what she used as a visual cue when marking items. ;Another colleague said yellow, being the color of caution, never failed to serve its purpose with her clients.
I decided to look into the whole matter myself.
I would be interested to hear what your findings are with color use. ;Ive used blue painters tape before to mark an X where the wheelchair should be parked or where they should put their feet before sitting. ;Sometimes I think it gets their attention only because it ticks them off, Who put that tape on my floor!
Hey, whatever works right?
Tips For Managing Dementia End
Because individuals with advanced dementia will often have difficulty communicating, it is important that caregivers keep a close eye on their loved one for signs of pain or discomfort. These signs may include moaning or yelling, restlessness or an inability to sleep, grimacing, or sweating. This may also signal that its time to call hospice or a palliative care team to help with the pain management.
If an individual with end-stage dementia is having trouble sitting up without assistance, hospice can provide a hospital bed or other equipment to lift their head.
Perhaps the hardest thing for families is when a loved one with dementia is no longer able to eat or swallow. Because an individual with dementia is unable to understand the benefits of feeding tubes or IV drips, they will often be incredibly distressed and attempt to remove them, causing added pain and risk of infection. Instead, focusing on keeping the individual comfortable. Supporting them with mouth care to prevent their mouth from becoming dry will allow them to make their final transition in peace.
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Why Are Awareness Ribbons Important
Awareness ribbons create a community of people that are dedicated to one cause. The only way to create change is by taking action and these ribbons are a rallying call to make that difference!
Just like McDonalds has the golden arches and Nike has their infamous swoosh, you can see these small ribbons as a symbol, only in this case its for hope instead of Big Macs or gym shoes. Every time you wear a ribbon, whether its on a pin, shirt, tumbler, or giant banner, youre letting the world know that you want the world to be better, stronger, and an overall brighter place!
While It Can Be Easy To Dismiss Interior Design As A Creative Field Devoted To Aesthetics Trends And Fashionable Furniture The Design Of Our Homes And Living Spaces Must Accommodate Our Day
At the recent Alzheimers Association International Conference, Alison Dawson presented her and her fellow researchers home design suggestions catered specifically for people living with dementia and sight loss. The full report can be viewed at the website of The Thomas Pocklington Trust, the charity that funded the research. However, weve edited and redesigned the report below for easy reading.;All of the following text is pulled directly from the original report, with only slight edits for style and brevity.
( ( ( helps or is of benefit to most people
( ( helps or is of benefit to some people
( helps or is of benefit in specific circumstances
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Highlight Important Visual Elements
- It is useful for the colour of table settings to contrast with the tablecloth or table
- Chair upholstery or finishes should contrast with floor;
- Bathroom fixtures like sinks and toilets should contrast with the bathroom wall and floor ;
- Doors can be made less obvious by painting frames and the door the same colour as the wall. Alternatively, to draw attention to the door contrasting paint colour could be used to highlight the door frame or door.
Stage : Moderately Severe Dementia
When the patient begins to forget the names of their children, spouse, or primary caregivers, they are most likely entering stage 6 of dementia and will need full time care. In the sixth stage, patients are generally unaware of their surroundings, cannot recall recent events, and have skewed memories of their personal past. Caregivers and loved ones should watch for:
- Delusional behavior
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The Importance Of Colour And Contrast
- reduced speed of adapting to change in light level
- reduced visual acuity
- reduced depth perception
- altered perception of colour i.e. being less able to discriminate between unsaturated colours such as pastels
With older age, there is a greater likelihood of additional eyesight conditions, being on medication for other conditions, having a form of dementia, and perhaps some or all of these things. What the eye sees, the brain must interpret, and this can vary given different circumstances, type and progression of dementia, and abilities.
Understanding that an older person with or without dementia will probably perceive their surroundings differently is a good starting point for the design of living environments. Good design can help enormously in making it easier to interpret and navigate a building in safety, and the use of colour and contrast can be used in different ways to assist in this.
High contrastWhen we want to draw attention to something important, greater contrast helps to highlight it. For example, the toilets are more easily found if the doors are made obvious; a coloured and contrasting toilet seat helps with positioning; stairs can be made safer with a contrasting strip along the front edge; grab rails can be located; the outlines of furniture can be seen more clearly
What Does The Blue Flower Badge Represent
The flower is a forget-me-not, a small blue flower that represents remembrance and is long-associated with dementia.
People with dementia may experience memory loss, among other symptoms. This makes the forget-me-not the perfect flower to represent our cause.
The blue flower pin is a symbol for anyone who wants to unite against dementia, raise awareness and support people affected by the condition.;
There are a few different versions of the forget-me-not badge. We have a few available in our shop. 100 per cent of our shop profits go towards helping fight dementia.;
Three examples of forget-me-not pin badges
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We Are Influenced By More Than Plate Color
So the full story, according to this newer study, is that how much one consumes is highly influenced not only by plate color, but also by plate size and even the background the plate is placed upon. Thus the solution suggesting that you use red plates for dementia patients is only accurate if you are serving light colored foods, such as mashed potatoes. Whereas fresh tomatoes, strawberries, and tomato soup, which are themselves bright red would be better served on white or bright non-red plates. ;Serving these foods on red plates would not increase food consumption because there would be insufficient contrast between the food and the serving dish.
Now keep in mind that this technique of serving food that is in high contrast with the plate it is being served upon is a method that helps those who are having difficulty seeing. Clarity of vision often plagues the elderly and those with Alzheimers.; So increasing the contrast between food and the item it is being served with will assist them in both seeing and consuming the food or liquid. As the original article touting red plates for dementia as a solution stated, if you couldnt see your mashed potatoes, would you eat them? So Sometimes choosing a red plate for dementia patients is the right choice.
Our Expert Interviewees Said
- People with sight loss and dementia might benefit from high contrast hand rails, toilet seats, and door frames.
- Contrasting edging to units may also be beneficial for people with sight loss
- Wall finishes could be modified to ensure an appropriate level of contrast with other surfaces
- Contrast of stair nosings can help to highlight these as a hazard
- Colours on doors in care homes might replicate those of previous home doors to aid with way finding
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What You Can Do For Your Loved One
As an individual with dementia declines, you can help them by providing a loving and supportive presence. Sit with them. Hold their hand. Play music they enjoy.
One of the greatest gifts you can give your loved one is helping to get their affairs in order. Ensure that financial and healthcare powers of attorney are put in place, so you can make decisions when your loved one is no longer able. Look into funeral arrangements before you need them, so you dont need to make important decisions in a time of crisis.
Talk to your loved ones physician about the possibility of palliative care support in the home and hospice care when your loved one is ready.
Some History: Study Shows Red Plates For Dementia Help Patients Eat More
The email suggesting the use of red plates for dementia patients linked to an article written by Jeremy Schwab. The study showed that advanced Alzheimers patients level of food intake was 25% higher when they were served food on bright red plates instead of standard white plates, and an 84% increase in fluids when using red drinkware.
To me, this advice would seem suitable for any elderly person who may not be eating enough calories and not just Alzheimers patients. However, the article reminded me of a piece I had read sometime in the 70s or 80s, where plate color was discussed as a dieting aid for everyone. I remember the older article suggesting it was the contrast between the food and the plate that had an influence on the amount of food one consumed.
Im not saying the researchers didnt see a 25 percent increase in food consumption for Alzheimers patients who used red platesI just didnt think it was the whole story.; I decided to do some digging for the article I had read years ago. I was unable to find it, but I did find a newer study by those same people who are now saying that blue plates work, too. However, I eventually found another study that I think tells the whole story. One you should be aware of before you buy red or blue plates for dementia patients or you might be disappointed in the results from your purchase.
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