The Purple Jacket welcomes back guest blogger Andrea Bell
Dementia Patients at Home: Care Taker’s Guide
According to the behaviorist perspective, the environment plays a key role in how people behave. The impact comes from the people as well the type of house or even inanimate objects that are placed there. Dementia is not a disease in which a patient can admit himself into a hospital and receive proper treatment. He has to live with it for the rest of his/her life. Since they cannot control the progression of the disease, what they can control is to choose the way they want to spend their remaining years. Home décor can have a significant impact on dementia patients who are receiving care at home. It is important to understand that their life has or is beginning to change drastically, so a change in surroundings to help them adapt better is necessary. Here are some absolutely easy home décor ideas especially for people with Dementia:
- Bedding and comfort
Every patient (Dementia or not) needs comfort. Bedding, chairs and sofas should all be soft and cozy enough for the patient to stay in. Discomfort can stress the patient very easily which can increase the adverse effects of the disease. Comfort is also provided through emotional support of the care taker, it is necessary to educate yourself about Dementia patients before taking care of them. Their mattresses should have a plastic covering as well as be fire retardant.
- When Nature calls
Most patients with mild cognitive impairment or even normal physical weaknesses tend to wet their beds. It is absolutely essential to stay absolutely calm as it is already a pretty shameful moment for them. To avoid this, adult diapers and catheters are necessary. Other than this, easy to use bathroom fixtures and fittings are something that can provide the patients and their care takers both, some ease. Also, there are several kinds of bath chairs with all proper washing functions available which can be placed in the bathroom. Get them here.
- Reminders and forgetfulness
Dementia is probably the second name for forgetfulness. It can make the patient feel useless, as they at some point are not able to remember important pieces of information, or even the insignificant things like names of different foods or what day it is today. So to help them remember the house should be ‘reminder friendly’ in ways that the patient is instantly reminded of basic things. Sticky Notes always come in handy, even for everyday life. Post them everywhere, especially near the bedside or work areas with whatever information that you choose to remind them.
Large reminder boards can be placed on the wall, or the fridge, which can keep track of things like what time do they have to take their medicine, or how many times or pills do they have to take etc. If it is someone’s special day, like a birthday or a wedding anniversary, it can be easily posted on the reminder board in bold letters, which can allow the patient to be reminded of it every time they look at it or walk by it. You can easily by them from this store.
Bold analogue wall clocks can also be a good way for the patients to keep track of time. Large clocks with bold calendars are also available especially for dementia patients. Get them here.
- Way finding and wandering
A smart way to stop the patient from wandering is to plant or paste arrows inside the house, or in the backyard to allow the patient to recognize where he has to go. As soon as he begins to wander, the arrows will prompt him with the path that needs to be followed.
- Color selection for the eyes
With Dementia in old age, many patients may develop blindness or cataract eventually leading lives with blurry vision. Usage of bright and bold colors in things that need to be highlighted such as their pill boxes or their food containers can help them locate and even remember it easily. On the other hand, for areas such as those meant for sleeping and relaxing, the colors should be light and pastel in order to provide a soothing effect for the patient. These bold and soothing colors can be integrated into walls, curtains, bed sheets as well as the carpets on the floor.
- Organization to reduce confusion
Old age can cause a lot of confusion for the patient, especially if it is accompanied by Dementia. To reduce daily life confusion as much as possible, you can color coordinate their wardrobes, or pre pick out their clothes that they have to wear daily. Arrange their personal belongings or toiletries in a way that they are clear and visible right in front.
Andrea Bell is freelance writer by day and sports fan by night. Andrea writes about tech education and health related issues (but not at the same time). Live simply, give generously, watch football and a technology lover. Find Andrea on twitter @IM_AndreaBell.
(All content and links submitted in this post are written and submitted by Andrea Bell.)