When a loved one begins to show signs of dementia, it can be difficult to cope with their changing personality and needs. As the disease progresses, the patient will require an increasing amount of assistance with everyday activities, and may demonstrate behavior that is difficult to understand.
If a senior showing signs of dementia, allowing them to remain living independently in their home, surrounded by familiar objects and spaces, is the first step. Additionally, it has been shown that the memory loss and confusion associated with dementia can be reduced by optimizing the home environment.
Here are some other steps you can take to help them continue to live independently, while also reducing their dementia symptoms:
Reduce Excess Noise
Taking steps to reduce background noise can help a senior with dementia stay focused and reduce incidence of confusion. Replace vinyl or squeaky wood flooring with carpeting, which is both quieter and helps to absorb other noises.
Most televisions have a built-in sleep timer, which will activate after a certain hour and automatically turn off the television. This can be helpful for reducing unnecessary background noise for forgetful seniors.
Eyesight commonly deteriorates with age; therefore dementia patients often suffer from poor vision. People with dementia will feel disoriented in dark or poorly lit spaces.
Increasing the number of lights, as well as the wattage of the bulbs in existing ones, can reduce the risk of falls and help avoid confusion. Additionally, natural light has shown to improve mood and energy levels. Keep curtains and blinds open during the day to increase the level of natural light in the home.
Also, make sure that there are nightlights placed in every room of the home and light switches are easily accessible to ensure that there are never moments where a dementia patient finds themselves in complete darkness.
Label Drawers and Cupboards
Incorporating labels that indicate the contents of cupboards and drawers can help dementia patients locate objects and stay organized, which can reduce confusion and frustration, allowing them to remain confident in their independence at home.