Diagnosis of dementia changes life, but it does not mean that you have to shave and change everything. Instead, the friendly dementia of your loved one will ensure that they can stay as independent as possible, helping with everyday tasks, and even making a cup of tea can discourage.
Here are some tips on how to make your loved one's home comfortable to create the highest quality of life while on the journey of dementia.
Abuse can be frightening for everyone, especially for the person with dementia, so the simplest way to fight this is to place subtle reminders around the house to trigger memories. Photos of friends, family members, and familiar places, such as a favorite break or a pet, will bring a sense of reassurance to your beloved person with dementia. It is also a great talking point, discussing the memories of youth and their experiences throughout their lives and also an opportunity to learn something new about their story!
Labels may seem simple, but they are extremely effective. Labeling cupboards with the contents, such as cups or plates, will make it easier for people with dementia to escape from their kitchen and continue their work as usual. Depending on how advanced their recovery is, it may be helpful to mark the steps and ingredients of making a cup of tea, for example, so as not to miss out on any step. Around the rest of the house, even the simplest tags are useful, such as marking different rooms. Using bright red and blue colors is useful, for example, to indicate the hot and cold tap, helping to avoid confusion and possible accidents.
Do not move everything
Of course, you want to keep your loved ones safe and moving furniture can be a necessity, but people with dementia rely on familiarity so that overturning everything can be quite unpleasant. Dementia creates confusion between long and short-term memory, so if they have lived in a home for 25 years, they can remember the house as it used to be then, not how it is now. As a result, moving their beloved chair to the living room can be very disorienting. If you have to move furniture or move their room down, be very open with your family member and keep them in the conversation so they know why this is happening. Making drastic changes without telling them in advance can cause discomfort.
Day and night
The concepts of date and time may blur when living with dementia. Natural light is really important for people on their voyage, scientific research has proven the benefits of natural light in improving mood, body rhythms and increasing vitamin D levels. Ensure that all windows are cleaned regularly and that the curtains are always open daily. This will improve moods and then cognitive health. At night, designing curtains and creating a dark room will help them understand that it's time to go to sleep and secure a regular routine.
Making an intimate dementia at home can also mean making some garden changes. Bringing birdfeeders or planting flowers can bring life to the garden and therefore, a great way to keep people busy. Each season brings a new lease of life in a garden, whether it is winter or summer bees, seeing the world going through the garden is calm and enjoyable for people on the journey of dementia and for the wider family as well. In the summer, put a chair out to change the setting for your loved one and enhance your cognitive health as they can interact and feel closer to nature.
For everyone, dementia can be a difficult time, but making their home as comfortable as possible will ensure that they can enjoy the things they love most while they are at home. Putting many photos around the house of past and present memories, highlighting things around the house and interacting with nature will help create more memories and moments of happiness.
John Ramsay is Chief Executive Officer Shift 8, the company it brings Tovertafel in the UK