Living with a loved one with dementia or just providing care? The Department of Geriatric Medicine from Changi General Hospital (CGH) offers simple tips to make a home dementia friendly.
Continued from previous page.
If you are living with a loved one with dementia, or if he or she is living alone, it is important to make the home dementia-friendly.
Adjunct Associate Professor Lim Si Ching, Senior Consultant from the
Department of Geriatric Medicine; Li Fuyin, Advance Practice Nurse (Geriatric); and Seng Yuh Jen, Senior Medical Social Worker, all
Changi General Hospital (CGH), a member of the
SingHealth group, advises how.
Creating a safe home for a loved one with dementia
1. Have ample lighting
Good lighting enables a person with dementia see clearly and make better sense of their surroundings. Ensuring your home has natural lighting also helps the person stay aware of the time, day and the weather. To have better control over the amount of indoor lighting, use dimmer switches.
2. Keep floors clear at all times
Remove floor mats and rugs from the floor as they can cause trips and falls. Also, make sure cables for lights and other appliances are not a tripping hazard.
3. Use colour and labels for furnishings and home items
Dementia can affect a person's ability to differentiate colours and to view objects in three dimension.
By using bright and contrasting colours for furniture, it can help persons with dementia identify things more easily.
Having visual cues such as pictures or labels on the outside of cupboards, wardrobes and drawers are also helpful in helping them remember where things are kept.
4. Ensure easy bathroom access
Having difficulty locating the bathroom can definitely cause anxiety, especially for those with dementia. If your home has a number of rooms, put signs consisting of a picture of a toilet with the word 'toilet' on bathroom doors, at a height that is easy to see.
Remove unused items to prevent causing distraction/confusion to the dementia patient.
5. Install grab rails, alarms and sensors at home
This will help your loved one with dementia stay safe at home, especially if they live alone - providing you with peace of mind too.
See the previous page on
how to understand common dementia behaviours.
See the next page for
tips to prevent caregiver burnout and whom to turn to for help.
Check out other articles on dementia:
Dementia in Singapore: Fast Facts
Dementia: What You Need to Know
Dementia and Depression: Is There a Link?
Young Onset Dementia (YOD): Dementia That Affects the Young
Brain Diseases: Early Signs to Look Out For