The best living environment for a person with dementia is one that helps them to be as happy and independent as possible. Familiarity is important as changes in this environment may add to confusion and disorientation. The home environment should help you to know where you are and to find where you want to go.
Safety tips for around the home
- Ensure lighting is at a high level by opening curtains and blinds, ensuring light globes are high wattage and using sensor lighting to detect when someone is in the room
- Nightlights in the hallways and in the toilet may be useful to assist in finding the way to the bathroom at night
- Electric blankets and hot water bottles may be a safety hazard, so consider removing
- Automatic cut off for hot water jugs and other appliances are recommended
- Replace more dangerous forms of heating, such as bar radiators, with safer heating options like column heaters
- Check appliances, such as heaters and toasters, to make sure they do not present any safety hazards
- Replace long electrical cords on appliances with coiled or retractable cords.
Bathroom and other rooms
- Hand held shower hoses allowing to direct the flow of water as desired
- A shower or bath seat so you can be seated while bathing and eliminates the need to lower yourself into the bath
- Install hand rails at the bath, shower and toilet
- Arrange furniture simply and consistently and keep the environment uncluttered
- Remove loose rugs and seal carpet edges that may be safety hazards
- Make sure mats are secure that patterns in flooring are minimal
- Dispose of (or safely store) all medications
- Smoke detectors are important for everyone. A person with dementia may need someone to check the battery and make sure the alarm is loud enough
- If you live alone, consider a device or system that will alert someone if you are unwell or have left the home
- Consider security cameras inside and outside the home that are connected to an app that track movement
- Set up an engaging environment with magazines and jigsaws
- Ensure items to complete activities are in easy sight i.e. teabags, coffee and sugar or tea towels for drying dishes.
In the garden
- Keep paths well swept and clear of overhanging branches
- Check catches on gates and consider padlocking gates with word and number combinations
- Remove poisonous plants and dispose of hazardous substances from sheds and garages such as kerosene.
For more information visit our Dementia Enabling Environment Virtual Information Centre which provides practical tips, guides and resources to help make the places where we live more dementia enabling. This will encourage a person with dementia to lead as full and independent life as possible.
For more information please contact us on 1300 66 77 88 or email us.