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Making life at home comfortable for someone with dementia

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Receiving a diagnosis of dementia can be a scary prospect for an individual and for those close to them. In the following days and weeks, it can be difficult to know what to do to make life easier for your loved one, but there are a few handy things that may help them day to day.

If you have a loved one who has recently been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease or another form of dementia, you may have concerns over how daily life for them will change. Dementia affects a person’s ability to think clearly, recall memories or make decisions – all of these can have a significant effect on how one carries out everyday tasks and activities.

At SureCare, we’re big believers in helping people to remain in the comfort and familiarity of their own homes for as long as possible. More and more people are choosing to maintain their independence at home in later life, rather than seeking out assistance in a specialist care home.

To help make a person’s home more comfortable, accessible and safe, there are a few things you may want to consider. These include adapting existing elements around the home, as well as making some new changes to improve daily life for someone affected by dementia.

Think about lighting

Good lighting around the home helps to reduce disorientation and risks of accidents. If the home has a lot of windows, use that natural light to your advantage to maintain brightness throughout. Avoiding large curtains – especially if they’re dark in colour or blackout curtains – will also be a huge benefit.

If the home doesn’t allow in much natural light, ensure that light fixtures are in good working condition. It may also be useful to use long-lasting, energy-saving light bulbs as these will be less likely to blow and can help to save on your bills when switched on for long periods throughout the day.

Signifiers around the home

It can also be useful to signpost things around the home to help your loved one comfortably find their way around if they start to become forgetful. Try to include bold and clear labels for things like cupboard doors and multiple light switches to indicate what’s inside or what the switches control. In some cases, it may also be useful to use pictures for a more visual representation.

Signals can be subtle too, like ensuring items of furniture stand out from their surroundings. Use different contrasting colours to help make the distinction between things like furniture and the floors and walls. It may also help to use solid colours as opposed to bold and elaborate patterns, as these could cause confusion or disorientation.

Embrace assistance gadgets

Modern technology often has a reputation for being confusing to older people, but there are many devices that have been specifically designed for people living with dementia. Don’t be afraid to embrace a variety of handy gadgets that can help make life easier. These can include programmable clocks with reminder alarms, as well as familiar tools like telephones with large buttons and digital displays.

One of the most useful gadgets you could provide for your loved one, however, is a wearable assistance alarm. Usually appearing as a red button on a necklace, these devices allow the wearer to press it in case of an emergency, whether they have a fall or if they find themselves becoming distressed. Depending on the type of device, it can either emit a loud noise to alert people nearby (neighbours for example) or it could connect to an emergency contact.

If you have a loved one living with dementia and you’re looking additional support to help provide care for them, get in touch with SureCare. We operate teams of dedicated care workers across the country who are highly trained and experienced in assisting people with dementia.

To find out more about how SureCare can help your loved one with a professional and compassionate service, simply head to our Find A Branch section to locate your nearest SureCare office and their contact details.