Design & Dementia: Home Modifications for Loved Ones

February 2, 2022

Dementia affects millions of Americans. It refers to the loss of cognitive abilities that may affect memory, mood, thinking, or language. Because it's a neurological condition, it greatly affects a person's logical reasoning. People who suffer from dementia typically live in a home or move in with their family members. When the condition worsens, it's a lot more difficult to complete daily tasks independently. If you or someone you know is suffering from dementia, it's best to make modifications to the home in order to make it safe.

Prioritize good lighting in every area of the home.

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Although dementia isn't a specific disease, Alzheimer's is typically the most common cause of dementia. Alzheimer's stages can be categorized into mild, moderate, and severe. But overall, there are seven different stages that involve forgetfulness, cognitive impairment, and cognitive decline. Over time, dementia affects different parts of the brain that involve visuals. A great addition would be to add motion-detection lighting to the home to ensure that your loved one doesn't have trouble navigating at night. It can also help prevent any accidents in the dark.

Consider bathroom remodeling to prevent slips and falls.

More than a third of accidents at home occur in the bathroom. When your loved one has dementia, it interferes with the person's ability to function optimally. It's important that the bathroom is easy for them to navigate. For small changes, you can ensure that toilet paper and towels are within reach. For larger changes, it may be best to consider bathroom remodeling in Plano, TX. Bathroom renovations should include using matte flooring instead of a shiny, slippery tile. It's also best to ensure the tub or shower has grab bars for increased stability. The colors of cabinetry and toilets should all be bright and easy to see. Make sure to add nonslip mats in all areas.

Watch out for any fire hazards.

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A lot of people who struggle with dementia have cognitive difficulties and suffer from forgetfulness. So, they may forget to turn off the oven or leave the gas stove on and cause accidents. Choose appliances with automatic shut-off features. Make sure that smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors are in working order. In the early stages, you'll want your loved one to retain their independence as much as possible, but it's also important to ensure that you help them lower their risks at home.

Prevent wandering in and out of the home.

It's not uncommon for people who suffer from dementia or Alzheimer's disease to pace around the room and feel lost or confused. Wandering is a common symptom. It's important to make sure that you make their needs accessible at home. For example, if they leave the room to get a glass of water in the middle of the night, it might be best to leave out a glass for that purpose. This is also why it's important to have lighting that works with motion sensors, in the case that your loved one gets up at night and begins to wander around or feel lost.

Dementia can lead to a variety of problems at home. It's best to prepare for your loved one regardless of whether they're still in the early stages and fine to live independently. If they're living at home with you, then these changes are necessary in order to help them maintain a good quality of life and prevent any accidents. Make sure to remove smaller rugs to prevent stumbling or tripping. Ensure that the bathroom has grab bars and a lock on the medicine cabinet. Install lights with motion sensors and use appliances with automatic shut-off to prevent any fire hazards. These are just a few things you can do to keep your loved one safe as they navigate daily life with dementia.

 

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