At Care Indeed, our San Jose dementia caregiving experts understand that caring for an aging loved one with this condition can be challenging, to say the least. Did you know that the design of the environment in which your loved one lives can have a profound impact on his or her well-being and mood? From colors and lighting to layout and interior design, there are things you can do to make living easier and more enjoyable for those with dementia or other similar conditions.
Correct use of lighting
Incorrect use of lighting can cause further confusion and distress for those who suffer from dementia, as a room that is too dark can not only affect perception of the passing of time, but create shadows and make it difficult to identify objects. Natural light should be let in as much as possible, as it helps those with dementia realize the time of day as the light source changes, and encourages natural sleeping patterns. Proper placement of artificial lighting sources can also reduce shadows and allow those with dementia to see hallways and pathways through the home.
We all know that color affects mood, and the same is true for those with dementia. Your loved one may have colors he/she prefers; the correct use of color can also make it easier for those with eye conditions to see clearly, such as bright yellow, red, or orange. Color can also be used to help dementia patients navigate around the home. For instance, colored door knobs or even doors that are different colors can help sufferers identify what is behind the door, such as a bathroom. Upholstery colors should contrast against the color of floors so that those with dementia aren't afraid of tripping. Essentially, good use of color helps those with dementia and similar conditions feel safer and more eager to explore, and reduces confusion.
Good interior design makes everyday tasks easier
Imagine if you suffered from dementia and occasionally didn't know where you were, let alone where certain items in the kitchen are, where the bathroom is, etc. In the kitchen, consider using labels or even transparent doors on cabinets so that your loved one knows what's inside. Icons or pictures of what drawers or cabinets contain are also a good idea. It's also a good idea to use icons (pictures) throughout the home to give patients visual clues as to what a specific room is used for, as some have trouble identifying a word or 'name' (such as the word bathroom), but can easily identify a toilet, wash basin, etc.
Making it as easy as possible for someone who suffers from dementia to live in their own home helps maintain their dignity, and even makes his/her surroundings safer and more secure. Ultimately, you want to keep confusion down as much as possible, while helping your loved one feel comfortable and familiar with their surroundings.
At Care Indeed, our caregivers are trained professionals who are dedicated to helping Bay Area dementia patients enjoy an improved quality of life. Call us today for exceptional care for your loved one!
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