You are here

How carers can create dementia-friendly homes

How carers can create dementia-friendly homes
20th June 2017

People who are caring for somebody with dementia must be mindful of how the person's home is decorated, an expert has stated.

According to Barbara Clarke, chief officer at Bolton Dementia Support, dark patches or patterns on rugs and floors can cause problems for people with the degenerative condition.

This, she said, is because dementia sufferers often try to avoid walking on the black parts, as they believe they are holes and are afraid of falling through.

Speaking to the Bolton News, Ms Clarke also stated that it is unwise for a dementia patient to live in a house with a minimalist kitchen.

Instead, she suggested that kitchen cupboards be fitted with glass doors, so they can easily see what is inside.

"Avoid things like marbled work surfaces too," Ms Clarke advised.

In addition, dementia carers were advised that patterned wallpaper can create problems for those with the condition, as they can report "seeing faces in the patterns" and believe that others are looking at them.

Ms Clarke went on to point out that spacial awareness can be a big problem for people with dementia.

As a result, somebody might try to perform a simple task, such as putting a cup of coffee down on at table, but miss because they are unable to gauge the distance.

In this situation, it could be tempting for a carer for try to intervene and offer to carry out basic tasks for the patient.

However, Ms Clarke insisted that they should ideally be trying to let people with dementia "do as much as they can for themselves".

Nevertheless, carers were advised that they should still "be aware of them needing help at times".

The aim is to help people enjoy their lives because even though it is not the life you expected, you can still achieve so much," she commented.

Ms Clarke added that it is not possible to look after somebody with dementia without help.

Therefore, she believes carers must seek support and advice so they both take care of themselves and do a good job of looking after the person with the condition.

According to figures from the Alzheimer's Society, about 800,000 people in the UK currently live with dementia.

One in three people aged 65 or over are expected to develop the condition, while women account for two-thirds of dementia sufferers.

The NHS expects the number of people with the condition to go up due to people's lengthening lifespans.

Indeed, official estimates suggest that the number of people in the UK with dementia will reach about one million by 2021.