What are some creative ideas for a dementia-friendly environment?

July 3, 2024 - Reading time: 7 minutes

Discover practical and creative ideas that will transform your home into a dementia-friendly environment. From simple modifications to thoughtful design choices, these strategies will not only enhance safety and ease navigation but also promote a sense of familiarity and well-being. Imagine your loved ones effortlessly moving around the house, feeling secure and at ease in their surroundings.

With our expert carer’s tips, you can achieve just that. Whether it's optimizing lighting, decluttering spaces, or implementing memory aids, we've got you covered. By making your home dementia-friendly, you'll create a supportive environment that promotes independence, reduces confusion, and enhances the quality of life for dementia patients.

So, if you're ready to make a positive difference in the lives of your loved ones, read on and discover our practical and creative ideas to transform your home into a dementia-friendly environment.

Creating a safe and comfortable environment for individuals with dementia is crucial for promoting their independence, mobility, and overall well-being. From choosing the right colours to arranging furniture logically, every decision can significantly impact someone's life. Let this process inspire and motivate you as you strive to design a home that is truly dementia-friendly.

When designing a dementia-friendly home, it's essential to consider the unique challenges faced by those with the condition. Safety is paramount, and certain modifications can help prevent accidents and reduce confusion. Simple adjustments, such as removing tripping hazards, installing grab bars in bathrooms, and labelling drawers and cabinets, can make a significant difference.

Another key aspect of a dementia-friendly home is creating a calm and organized environment. This can be achieved by reducing clutter, using familiar and neutral colours, and incorporating memory aids, such as whiteboards or digital reminder systems like smart speaker devices. Most importantly, acting early is key, as familiarity can fade with dementia care. Here are some cost-effective ideas to make your home dementia friendly: 

Clear Pathways - Rearrange furniture and use contrasting colours for floors and walls. 

Simple Layout - less confusing, simple layout to minimise the distraction of furniture and decorations. 

Comfortable spaces - arrange a calm and comfortable area with familiar items, photos, books, and easy-to-use remort control for the TV.

Safety Measures - Remove rugs and carpets; instead, use non-slip mats. Install grab rails in the bathroom and hallway. 

Labels and Signage - is required to label the whole house; use photos if that helps. What is this, what is inside, and how to use it, i.e., kitchen, bathroom, living room?  

Lighting - Promote natural light and ensure good lighting all around the house.

Memory Aids -  use memos or whiteboards, and if possible, use digital reminders such as Google and Alexa.  

Modern Technology - Get assistance with smart home technology to improve daily living. Get smart cameras, lights, and speakers installed. Make certain that the installation will not be a source of distraction. 

The above suggestions vary for individuals with dementia. So they might be required to tailor it to suit their specific preferences and requirements.

Find below tonnes of practical tips that we have found on the field on how to create a dementia-friendly home environment.

Note. In extreme cases, non-thesis guidance or solutions may not be helpful for your loved one, so apologies in advance.

How to make a Dementia friendly living room?

Declutter the area - re-arrange loose-laying area rugs and carpets, footstools and loose electrical cables that could be tripping hazards.

Change the furniture around to create a clear path to walk in the house.

If required get assistive furniture like Recliner, Adult high chair and table. And make sure to leave the main chair near a window.

If required put signs and labels around the house

Picture frames with names to recognize the loved ones

Digital picture frames and Google or Amazon Alexa screens could be set up to show pictures, time AM/PM, and a full calendar.

For digital reminders, use Alexa or Google

Motion detect camera - a handy tool to find their well-being.

How to make bedroom dementia friendly?

One of the most important rooms in the house, make sure to declutter and free from any sharp or obstructions.

Remove rugs and carpets to prevent falls

Solar-blocked or black-out curtains to help to sleep

Contrasting colour bedding

Bedside lamp, night lamp with touch operated if possible

Make sure to have plenty of incontinent sheets for the bed to prevent a mess from an accident

If possible hang or lay out the clothing for the next day

What is the best colour to paint a bedroom for someone with dementia?

We advise colouring the room in a non-reflective contrasting colour.

Popular Dementia friendly colours are Yellow, Mustard and Orange

Avoid shiny colours

What is the best flooring for a Dementia friendly bedroom?

High contrast floor boarding or single colour carpets. Try to avoid patterns, which might trigger tripping or falling.

Avoid mats, rugs and carpets

Contrast the flooring colour with the walls

Avoid Green and Blue colours, which might be confused with real things such as grass and water

What are Dementia friendly doors?

High contrast one-coloured door, which helps to identify the locks,

bars and hooks. If possible, stick a photo and the name of the person.

Ideas for Dementia-friendly wardrobe 

The most popular are no-door wardrobes, it is easy to recognise the clothes and where they are.

Ideas for Dementia-friendly bed and bedding

High contrast colours stand out with the wall colours and floor colours. Make sure Blankets, Duvets, and Pillows stand out with others too.

Laying incontinent mats under the top sheet is very useful

Easy-to-operate bedside lamp

What is Dementia Friendly Lighting?

Natural light drops make them more restless and agitated, lighting in the environment may help to subsist better with Sundowning syndrome. We recommend Smart lighting systems or lamps with timer switches.

Motion detect lighting system or smart lighting system and Motion detect lighting in the bathroom

How to make a Dementia friendly Bathroom?

People with Dementia have deteriorating vision, hence their awareness could be challenging. Which could cause confusion and falls. To prevent any accidents follow the below guide.

Contrasting coloured bathrooms, avoid shining colours.

Avoid the colours that reflect back due to sunlight

Motion detect lighting system

Comfort height commode and contrasting colour toilet seat

Install grab rails (suction grab rails)

Non-slip shower tray

Door signs say "Bathroom" and "Exit"

Signage for Bath, Hot water, Cold water, Sink, Commord, Flush, Shower, etc.

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