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Dementia: Creating a Dementia Friendly Home

Updated: Mar 21, 2019

4 ways to create a dementia friendly home by making things easier to see

1. Avoid reflective surfaces and keep lighting even Shiny or reflective surfaces on floors or tabletops can cause confusion because they create glare and shadows.

Floors: stick to bare hardwood or plain carpeting.

Tabletops or counters : cover with light-colored mats or tablecloths. Dark colors may seem like holes, so avoid those colors on areas you do want your older adult to use.

2. Add pictures to identify things that aren’t in full view When someone has memory problems, it can be difficult to remember where things are. That could mean they need to open every cabinet to find a mug, open all the drawers to find a sweater, or not know where the toilet is.

To help someone with dementia find the things they use often, it helps to add large, easy-to-see pictures on the outside of doors or drawers to identify what’s inside.

3. Use contrasting colors to highlight important things Careful use of contrasting color also helps seniors with dementia see things better.

For example, a red plate makes it easier to eat because the plate stands out from a light-colored table or mat and many foods stand out against the red plate. When your older adult can clearly see what they’re eating, they’re better able to eat independently.

Using the toilet can be quite a challenge because most bathrooms have light colored floors, wall, and toilet. That can make it tough for someone with dementia to find the actual toilet and could cause them to accidentally go somewhere else, like a wastebasket or the tub.

To make it easier to turn on room lights, you may want to change the light switch plates. Anything goes as long as the switch stands out clearly from the wall.

4. Make large panes of glass more visible It can be more difficult for people with dementia to see large panes of glass. That can lead to accidents and injuries.

To make glass more visible, add non-adhesive decals, pictures, or posters on shower doors, patio doors, or picture windows. This can also be a fun way to decorate!

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