Cultivating Comfort: A Compassionate Guide to Crafting a Dementia-Friendly Home

Blog

11th December 2023

Guardian Angel Carers - Home Care Lincoln Newark

Introduction

Within the intimate embrace of our homes, memories weave stories, and familiar corners hold the
essence of a lifetime. Crafting a dementia-friendly home is not merely a series of modifications; it's
an expression of deep care, an artistry of creating a sanctuary for our loved ones. Here we explore
the profound journey of making home a haven for those living with dementia.

Understanding the Needs of Individuals with Dementia

In the quiet moments of daily life, where memories dance and emotions linger, individuals grappling
with dementia navigate a world that often feels unfamiliar. Crafting a dementia-friendly home
begins with an empathetic understanding of their unique needs. You know your loved one best,
utilise that knowledge to make the home a happy place. For example photos of family holidays,
weddings and grandchildren’s school pictures.

Consider the simple act of adapting spaces for mobility. Imagine the freedom someone with
dementia feels when they can effortlessly move through a room, guided by clear and visible signage.

Key Concepts in Creating a Dementia-Friendly Home

Home Modifications for Dementia

Adapting Spaces for Mobility and Accessibility: In practice, this may involve ensuring that hallways
are wide enough for easy navigation, creating open spaces free from obstacles, and installing ramps
or lifts where needed.

Ensuring Clear and Visible Signage: Picture clear, visible signs guiding individuals to different rooms,
providing a reassuring sense of direction amidst the maze of daily life.

Creating Safe Zones within the Home: Envision designated safe zones—cosy corners where one can
retreat, free from hazards and surrounded by a comforting familiarity. A favourite chair, a favourite
room, a safe haven for your loved one.

Dementia-Friendly Home Design

Layout Considerations for Easy Navigation: Visualise a thoughtfully streamlined layout, minimising
confusion and empowering individuals to move freely without unnecessary barriers.

Colour and Contrast Choices for Visibility: Imagine the comfort derived from carefully chosen
colours and contrasts, enhancing visibility and making everyday objects easily distinguishable. Often
colour changes along the floor can cause confusion in people living with dementia.

Simplifying and Decluttering Spaces: Envisage a serene environment, free from visual chaos,
allowing for a peaceful atmosphere that supports mental clarity.

Sensory-Friendly Home for Dementia

Importance of Sensory Stimulation: Picture the joy sparked by sensory experiences—a soft blanket,
soothing sounds, and the subtle fragrance of familiar scents.

Incorporating Pleasant Smells and Sounds: Enrich the environment with the comforting aromas of
home-cooked meals and the gentle melody of a favourite song, creating a sensory-rich atmosphere.
Creating a playlist of favourite songs that can play in the background, encourage dancing and singing
where possible.

Using Tactile and Visual Stimuli: Consider the comfort found in tactile materials, engaging visuals,
and cherished mementoes that tell the story of a life well-lived. See through kitchen cupboard doors
will remove confusion and anxiety.

Practical Tips for Adapting a Home for Dementia

Home Safety Tips for Dementia

Securing Furniture and Fixtures: Visualise furniture anchored securely, providing stability and
preventing accidents, while ensuring a reassuring sense of safety.

Ensuring Proper Lighting: Imagine the home bathed in gentle light, minimising shadows and
ensuring that every corner is illuminated, promoting a sense of security.

Installing Safety Rails and Grab Bars: Envision strategically placed safety rails and grab bars, offering
support and independence in daily activities. Mobility shops can be a great help in offering correct
equipment, a good local company is Ableworld and you can find there website HERE

Creating a Calm and Supportive Home Environment for Dementia

Establishing Routines and Consistency: Picture the reassurance derived from established routines,
creating a sense of predictability and stability in daily life.

Designating Comfortable Rest Spaces: Envision a quiet and comfortable resting area, where
individuals can retreat for moments of tranquillity and relaxation.

Incorporating Memory Aids and Reminders: Imagine the support provided by visual cues and
reminders, acting as gentle guides through the tapestry of memory.

Personalising the Dementia-Friendly Home

Understanding the individual, their preferences, and their unique triggers is at the heart of crafting a
truly personalised dementia-friendly home. Involve them in the process, and be flexible in adapting
strategies based on their evolving needs.

Resources and Professional Support

Collaborating with home care services, seeking guidance from occupational therapists, and exploring
community resources can provide invaluable support. Imagine the strength found in community
connections, sharing experiences, and navigating the journey together. The Alzheimer’s Society have
a wonderful guide for “Making your home dementia friendly” HERE

Conclusion

In the gentle cadence of everyday life, the creation of a dementia-friendly home is a symphony of
love and understanding. Each modification, each thoughtful touch, is a brushstroke on the canvas of
care. As we embark on this journey together, let us be guided by empathy, inspired by examples of
comfort, and create homes that echo with the warmth of compassion. In the language of care, our
homes become the most eloquent storytellers of all.

Andrew Smith