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 www.dementiauk.org. 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 (www.alzheimers.org.uk, 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 www.livingneeds.co.uk.