Including 10 Changes To Make To To Your Home
Each day can bring forth new challenges when you’re living with someone who is suffering from dementia or Alzheimer’s. Dementia is a progressive neurodegenerative disease which progresses rapidly and makes it troublesome for the person to remember things, to think on his own, to process his thoughts and to offer reasoning. During this phase of their life, if the person providing dementia help at home can make few changes to the environment where the patient lives or to his home, this can prove to be extremely comforting for them. If you can make daily tasks seem easier for them, they might feel independent and thereby feel less anxious, stressed and frustrated.
Unless you make a home safer for someone who is suffering from dementia, you might never be able to provide him with the utmost comfort that he deserves or that his ailment deserves. So, if you have a loved one who is staying with you and who is suffering from dementia, you need to know how to make the environment dementia-friendly. Scroll down to know more on this.
Dementia-friendly changes to bring about to your home
Being a caregiver for someone with Alzheimer’s, you are well-versed with the challenges. Altering your living space to better accommodate the needs of your loved one is also one such challenge. You have to just walk around the house, move from one room to another and check the ways in which you can modify the room in order to make it more dementia-friendly. How could you reduce the risk of your loved one falling down? How could you aid his memory? Well, a proper designing of the room could help your loved one thrive. Here are few steps that you can take.
Ensure there is enough light
Does your house get enough natural light? If answered yes, nothing better than that as it is only through good lighting that the person can see clearly and make sense of where things are kept. When there is light coming through windows, is there anything that can block the light from entering through the window? When the person sleeps at night, make sure his bedroom is dark enough as that is more comforting than a lit-up room. This gives the person a better sound sleep.
Drinking and eating should be made easier
Drinking and eating well is vital for your health but when you’re planning a change for the family member who is having dementia, you need to plan accordingly. You require using cups, plates and table cloths of colors that are in total contrast with the colour of the food that he eats. Use plastic containers to store the food so that he can easily see what is there inside.
The flooring should be safe
Eliminate anything and everything that can make the person trip and fall. If you had mats and rugs placed on the floor, you’re sure to face some kind of hazards which could have a deteriorating impact on the health of the patient. Hence, if at all you need to maintain a stylized flooring, a plain matt flooring is probably the best. Flooring that is shiny or that which is similar to the color of your walls can again confuse the person.
Install furniture which can be seen clearly
As dementia progresses with time, the disease can affect your capability of differentiating between colors. Being the caregiver to your dementia patient, you should use contrasting and bright colours so that the patient can view the furniture in a better manner. Avert strong patterns or stripes as they can soon get confusing for the person.
Things should be kept in a simple manner inside the bathroom
Draw a label and put the sign on the door to remind him that it is the toilet or bathroom. In case the person finds it difficult to identify the bathroom, you can remove the toilet lid. If there are toilet rolls and towels, they should be in contrasting color to the walls. Make sure you eliminate all those items which you don’t use everyday.
Your rooms should be free of clutter
This is not only applicable for a family with a dementia patient but for all. Untidiness all over the home can make you feel distracted and confused. Keep removing all the excess clutter and also ensure that the drawers and cupboards are tidy enough. When you’re not listening to the radio or when you’re not watching the TV, turn it off so that it is doesn’t get distracting for the patient.
Leverage different tools to stay safe
Do you always feel scared about falling down? If answered yes, use the grab rails while walking so that you can guard yourself from falling. If the caregivers install carbon monoxide and smoke detectors, this can also ensure double safety. These detectors can detect whether there’s water running or whether the temperature of the thermostat is too low or high.
Hazardous items should be stored away
Inside a home, there are several hazardous items like kitchen knives and other harmful cleaning chemicals. Now that you have a dementia patient at home, you should keep these away from your sight or even lock them away so that your family member is never confused about whether or not to use them.
Clocks should be easy-to-read
If you install prominent clocks in and around the places where your loved one stays, you may help him keep a close track on time. For more ideas, you can check the web to know about dementia-friendly watches and clocks.
Often used items in the kitchen should be easy to find
If it is your mom who is suffering from dementia, you should also arrange a typical kitchen. In a typical kitchen, majority of the things are usually hidden inside drawers and cabinet doors. This explains why women with dementia will close and open several kitchen drawers and cabinets as they won’t be able to remember where things are kept. So, you should keep the kitchen as clutter-free as is possible.
Transitioning your loved one to a dementia care – Few tips to handle this stage
As the memory of your loved one starts declining or as the impact of dementia becomes too much for the caregivers to handle, you’ll have to decide to place her in a memory care. Suppose you’re a resident of North Sydney, you may watch out for home care North Sydney or an assisted living or a nursing home support facility near your locality. Transitioning your loved one to such a facility is tough as you find it emotional to accept this decision. Emotions run higher when you think of telling your loved one about the moving day. Here are few tips from other experienced caregivers.
How to prepare before the move-in day
- Select the best facility: Before you keep your loved one, you should do your research. Speak to your family members to know their needs and then choose the appropriate care facility which is going to be perfect for your loved one.
- Don’t tell him that he needs more help: By the time a dementia patient will need 24-hour care, they fail to understand the fact that they are suffering from a problem. If you tell them that they can’t do something, they might get angry. So avoid telling them anything.
- Know that the phase will be challenging: Though it is true that the long-term care communities offer round-the-clock care and other support services to enhance the patient’s life, it is vital to accept the fact that the transition will be a challenging one.
- Move at the patient’s best time of the day: Every dementia patient has a best time of the day and if you can cleverly align their moving time with that time, this will reduce the challenges. If he stays best in the morning, make the move in the morning.
Advice for the Caregivers
- Make sure you take time off: If you’re employed, speak with your employer and plan a leave during the moving period. Do save enough money so that you could pay for the first month rent and all other services that the patient may need. Arrange a family member who can remain on standby to take care of the children.
- Believe things will get easier: Moving your loved one to a care facility will initially seem tough but you need to believe in yourself that things will not always be hard. Your parent will gradually get accustomed with the care community as they have engaging programs and personalized care.
- Pay a visit regularly: During the first few weeks, the person will be adjusting himself with the new way of life and if you make regular visits during this phase, this can ease the transition. However, there can also be a delicate balance as to how frequently you should visit your parent.
- Be ready for bad days: While you are transitioning your loved one, he might make negative comments and you may dread these as a caregiver or a family member. Note down each and every negative comment that he makes and store them in proper perspective. Take it as an opportunity to make the situation better.
Coping with your emotions
- Stay positive: Try to stay positive and don an upbeat attitude. Your loved one will probably have the same emotions like you do. Motivate your loved one to remain excited regarding the transition.
- He might feel scared of living lonely: Even though your loved one has remained at home for several years now, as soon as you surround him with new people, he might start feeling more lonely. They are actually afraid to remain isolated from their near and dear ones.
- Eliminate any surprise element: Did you visit the care facility before you planned to send off your loved one? If you didn’t, you should do so and plan every meal for your loved one. If you can plan respite stays, these can get successful with the transition. Recall all positive events so that it can be comforting enough.
- Validate the feelings of your loved one: Your parent will most probably refuse to move from home and there will be countless situations when your family member will talk nonsense but you have to listen to him and validate his feelings. Understand the reason behind what he says and the logic.
Organizing the belongings and room of your loved one
- Label the items of the loved ones: Residents usually begin by missing things constantly soon after they’re shifted to a care center. They will find another resident enter a room which is not theirs and walk away with several items. You should label the items which your loved one needs.
- Keep copies of photographs: Make sure you keep copies of photographs of the family members. It is indeed wonderful to bring in frames, photos and photo albums and experts also recommend family members to carry copies so that they can contribute in reversing memory loss.
- Make the center feel like home: Try to schedule a specific time when you and your family member can move in with the favorite belongings. Arrange items in such a manner that they are reminded for their home. Seniors usually find comfort while recognizing things.
- Decorate the door of your loved one: If you decorate the front door of the room with some special item, he will find it easier to recognize his own room. Such visual cues will remain helpful for the patient.
Therefore, if you’re staying with someone who is suffering from dementia, you should always try to make the dementia-friendly adjustments to your home as mentioned above. In case you have to transition him to a dementia care facility, make the move as comfortable as it can be by keeping in mind everything that is written above.