The Coronavirus pandemic hit care homes extremely hard, particularly in the initial months of the outbreak. As a result, many people are rethinking the types of care best suited to themselves or their elderly relatives.
Demand for care home beds has significantly reduced throughout the pandemic and home care has become a more favourable option for many.
We recently wrote a blog on the benefits of homecare which you can read here. However, it’s important that provisions are made to the home to ensure the best standards of living. This is particularly true in cases of dementia.
Living and receiving care in the home plays are huge part in making a patient feel safe and keep a sense of independence. What’s important is to help make everyday tasks easier so that feelings of frustration, stress, and anxiety are reduced.
We’ve put together some top tips on making the home more dementia friendly:
Reduce Clutter – Clutter can cause confusion, take up important space and make it much harder for your loved one to find what they’re looking for. Removing clutter means there is less chance of hazards being left lying around and makes it much easier to focus on everyday items.
Remove Trip Hazards – Ensuring floors are clear and any rugs are removed, or the corners have been taped down means that your elderly relative can move around the house with greater ease. Things to consider when thinking about trip hazards include cables, stools, rugs, and mats.
Good Lighting – Lighting is important for multiple reasons. Firstly, having a well-lit room reduces confusion and improves orientation making things easier for someone living with dementia. Secondly, dementia often makes people lose track of time. Removing unnecessary blinds and curtains and allowing more natural light into the property can help someone to distinguish between light and day.
Display Photographs – Photographs of friends and family can be a great way to bring back memories, boost their mood and act as a conversation starter for visitors. Having these personal touches within the home can also reduce feelings of isolation and sadness. Even if someone living with dementia cannot verbalise their memories of the times captured in the photographs it is still thought that photographs have a positive impact on them.
Labelling – Dementia causes confusion and forgetfulness so labelling rooms and items around the home can help counteract this. It can be helpful labelling taps hot and cold, labelling draws and cupboards explaining what’s inside and labelling rooms such as the bathroom to make things easier to find.
Colours – The colour of furniture can help someone with dementia to distinguish it from the rest of the room. It is thought that stripes and heavy patterns can be confusing so it’s best to avoid these and instead use bold colours for things like bedding, towels, the toilet seat, sofa and cutlery. If these items are a contrasting colour to the rest of the room they will stand out more and be easier to identify.
Access to Music – Music and memories are powerfully connected and music can evoke a positive response in someone with dementia. Not only can it help to bring back memories, it can help reduce anxiety and depression, help maintain speech and language, and lift their spirits. Ensuring they have easy access to a choice of their music can help boost their mood and keep them occupied.
Organisation – Routine and organisation are both important elements for someone living with dementia so making this as simple and easy as possible for them is best. Having a clock with a large display featuring both the time and date can be helpful, as can a calendar featuring important dates/appointments on. There are also devices that provide a prompt at key times such as when medicine should be taken.
Simplifying and supporting a loved one with their everyday needs is key to their quality of life. All cases will be individual and there is no doubt that caring for someone with dementia can be extremely challenging.
Paterson Health & Social Care are experienced in providing care at home packages for people with varying needs. These include but are not limited to:
Support for people with learning and/or physical disabilities, 24 hour live in care, Hospital to home care, Full time personal homecare and Nursing Care.
For more information please speak to our experienced care team.
Call us on 01869 325530.