Golden Years 1st of August 2018

Making homes dementia friendly


It’s the little things that make a house a home, from family photos to favourite knick-knacks. However, our homes need to adapt and change as we move through the different stages of life. For people who have Alzheimer’s or another type of dementia, a few home improvements could help them to stay in their own home for longer.  David Walter, mobility specialist at Living Needs, explains how:


Making homes safer

People with dementia can have problems with their balance. Simple fixes, such as removing rugs and clutter, will help them to avoid a fall.  It’s also worth considering a few home adaptations, such as:


  • A ramp in place of steps
  • A stairlift
  • Slip resistant flooring
  • A bath lift, or a shower that’s level with the floor


At Living Needs, we offer a free home check service. We talk through the customer’s needs and recommend products to help make their home safer.



Bright, contrasting colours can help people with dementia to find and recognise features around the house. Red and blue have been found to be particularly beneficial. Dementia UK advise buying a toilet lid and seat that are a different colour to the pan, and marking hot and cold taps in red and blue to make it easier to tell them apart. Coloured grab rails may also be easier to use than plain white ones.

While bright colours can be useful, it’s best to stick to plain designs, rather than patterns. Patterns and textures can be confusing for someone with dementia. A line on the floor can look like a step or barrier, for example.


Helping with mobility

People with dementia can become more unsteady on their feet, or experience joint pain when standing. Investing in a good walker can help them to move around their home and garden more confidently. There are lots of different models available, including ones in contrasting colours.

Managing day-to-day tasks

Day-to-day tasks, such as housework, cooking and keeping clean, can prove challenging for those with dementia. A GP or social services can arrange a care assessment and talk through what help is available. It’s also worth calling Dementia UK on 0800 888 6678, or visiting their website at They’ll be able to provide details about local support. Admiral Nurses, for example, are specially trained by Dementia UK to support people with Alzheimer’s and other types of dementia.


Advice and support

If you or a loved one has dementia, you may want to speak to someone who understands what you’re going through. There are several charities in the UK that can offer support and information, such as The Alzheimer’s Society (, 0300 2221122). At Living Needs, many of our customers have dementia, so you’ll always find an understanding ear if you need advice about home adaptations. Just pop into the Living Needs showroom halfway down Mill Road in Barnstaple, or call 01271 374600 to arrange a free home visit. You’ll also find us online at

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About Us

Learn about who we are, see examples of what we have done & hear directly from our customers about their experiences

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Easy Access Bathing

If you have mobility issues, learn how removing the bath and creating a large level access showering area can help you to use your bathroom safely and easily again

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Mobility Aids

Learn more about the many products on the market which are of a high quality and stylish finish that help you maintain your independence and dignity for longer.

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Home Adaptations

With over 25 years of building experience, we can adapt your home to make it suit your changing needs. Learn more about what we can do.

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Design & Build

We specialise in the provision of high-quality construction work in the North Devon area, whether you want to renovate an entire property, build an extension, or breathe new life into an existing room

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Care Homes

Whether you need a complete refurbishment or updating of your current facilities, we can provide bathrooms for assisted bathing that conform to latest safety standards.

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Living Needs, Solutions for Independent Living

Reassuringly experienced and dependable, Living Needs is the only bathing specialist in Devon who are members of the Master Builder’s Federation and hold the Trustmark.

Living Needs are on the approved list of contractors for various local councils and housing associations across Cornwall, Devon and Somerset.

Living Needs

Members of Federation of Master Builders

The Federation of Master Builders

The Federation of Master Builders is the UK's largest trade association in the building industry.  Established in 1941 to protect the interests of small and medium-sized building firms, the FMB is independent and non-profit-making, lobbying continuously for members’ interests at both national and local levels.

The FMB is a source of knowledge, professional advice and support for its members. The FMB also offers advice to consumers via its 'find a builder' and 'check a member' web pages giving you peace of mind that your project will be handled professionally.

FMB's mission is that "Our construction companies are uniquely placed in the construction market to deliver the highest quality and best value to clients."

Trust Mark: Government Endorsed Standards


TrustMark is a Government-backed quality mark which operates a framework under which 26 scheme operators work in the Repair, Maintenance and Improvement sector, including trade associations, local government trading standards teams, and independent scheme operators.

These schemes are approved to carry the TrustMark logo and recruit reputable and trustworthy tradesmen. This enables the TrustMark scheme operators to promote improved standards, and tackle related issues such as better enforcement. All of these scheme operators are audited annually by TrustMark, to ensure processes, standards and complaint procedures are being maintained.

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