If you are living at home with dementia, there are things that you can do to make your home dementia friendly – helping keep you safe, active and doing the things that you want to do.
Get the light right – bring able to see clearly helps make sense of where you are.
- Add lights or lamps where needed
- Make the most of all natural light, draw curtains and remove things blocking light coming in through the window.
- To help you sleep well, make sure your bedroom is dark enough at night.
Is your floor safe for living at home with dementia?
- Get rid of any trip hazards such as rugs, cables etc
- Make sure you can see the flooring clearly too – plain matt flooring is best. Avoid having flooring that’s shiny or that’s a similar colour to the walls, as it may confuse you.
Keep eating and drinking well
- Be well stocked with food and drink.
- Keep a bottle of water with you to prompt you to drink regularly.
- Think about the colour of plates, cups and your table – it helps if colour is different to that of the food.
- Use clear containers for food so that you can see what is inside.
Make furniture easy to see – living at home with dementia it can be hard to tell different colours apart
- If buying new furniture, choose colours that contracts with walls and floors – avoid stripes and strong patterns
- Why not put throws or blankets over your sofa with the cushions on top?
Remind yourself where things are kept
- Pictures or signs on cupboards and drawers can indicate what’s inside them.
- Cupboards with glass front let you see what is inside them.
- Have one consistent place to keep your keys, wallet and phone.
Make your bathroom easy to use
- Have a sign or picture on the door to show it is the toilet or bathroom.
- Removing the toilet lid can make it easier to identify.
- Towels and toilet rolls should be a different colour to the walls – this makes them easier to identify.
- Remove items not regularly used.
Removing distraction and clutter helps when living at home with dementia
- The noise from TV or radio can be distracting – avoid this by turning them off when doing something else.
- Have a spring clean – removing excess clutter helps you to feel in control – tidy your house including drawers and cupboards – being tidy and clutter free helps to avoid confusion.
Stay safe by using equipment
- Install smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors linked to a monitored telecare service such as Forest Care
- Other telecare sensors can be added to detect when the oven has been left on, if the water has been left running, if you haven’t returned home at the expected time and much more.
- Think about other equipment to use when moving about you home – rails to help you balance or place to sit and rest.
Keep busy – keep doing the things that you enjoy
- A large face clock help you to know the time.
- Get a calendar to help you remember the date and what you have planned – perhaps cross out the days as you go.
- Some people use a big whiteboard to write reminders on.
Get outdoors – it is important to continue to get out as much as you can.
- Have somewhere to sit and rest in your back garden.
- Make sure that your front door is easy to tell apart from other houses nearby.
These are just a few of the things you can do to help yourself to stay living at home. For more tips and advice see thew Alzheimer’s Society booklet Making your home dementia friendly.