featured4 - 3 Tips to Make Interiors Comfortable for People with Dementia

3 Tips to Make Interiors Comfortable for People with Dementia

A care facility for people with dementia has to be adapted to its patients’ needs. Caregivers have to understand how people with dementia see the world and move on it to be able to offer the best help they can. These are a kind of patients that require a lot of attention and have particular necessities, so it is important that everything that surrounds them accommodates to them. Here are four tips to create comfortable spaces for residents of a dementia care facility:

 

1. Areas for wandering are a must

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One of the biggest characteristics of dementia patients is that they tend to wander around quite often. As we cannot control them, wandering is a must in their lives, but it can put them in dangerous situations. It is important to accommodate the furniture in a way that it does not block their path and leads them back to where they started. Doors they should not pass can be painted the same color as the wall, so they don’t notice them.

 

2.  Use objects to make them feel comfortable

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It has been proven that objects help triggering memories and make connections with important parts of their lives. Personalize their space with familiar objects to make them feel at home. This will also help them stay calmed and relaxed.

Also, objects can help them make connections with simple actions and give them a sense of stability and order. Particular and identifiable objects like statues, big clocks, pianos, bookshelves, etc., can help them recognize where they are and what to do there. For example, a picture that attracts their attention located in a dining room can help them understand that that is the place for eating. They establish a connection between the picture and eating.

 

3. Avoid confusing and contrasting objects, walls and floors

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The brain of a person with dementia understands things literally, so it is important to avoid mixed signals in anything that surrounds them. If wallpaper looks like a sky but when they approach it there isn’t more space in front of them, and instead it feels hard – because it is a wall- they can feel stressed and confused.

Floors have to be the least contrasting in their environment. It is better to keep the same flooring type all over the place and avoid having different patterns in hallways and rooms since these changes could make it hard for them to step into new places.

If you want to learn more about how to design interiors for people with dementia, don’t forget to buy the book “Designing interiors for people with dementia – 4th edition” by Liz Fuggle.

featured1 - 5 Tips to Designing Gardens and Outdoor Locations for People with Dementia

5 Tips to Designing Gardens and Outdoor Locations for People with Dementia

Dementia can be a very complicated condition. People who suffer it forget who they are, where they are, what they are doing, and more. When noticing they can’t remember anything, they feel lost and get in a very confusing state of mind, which limits them and makes them distrust everything around them that they cannot recognize. This is why it is essential to provide them with an environment that makes them feel comfortable, and gardens and outdoor spaces can offer a sense of peacefulness.

 

1. Set the perimeter

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Whether caregivers or a family taking care of their elders, it is important first to set a perimeter that is visible from anywhere in the house or easy to keep an eye on and delimit it with fences to prevent someone from leaving the safe areas.

 

2. Defining entrances and exits

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Just as a perimeter has to be well set, it’s ways of access have to be well designed and easy to find and recognize. It is important that people with dementia can move freely from inside and outside their home. Doors should be wide enough to allow people with disabilities to move freely as well, and entrances and exits should be marked to be found quickly and be open at all times.

 

3. Making a path

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Even though people with dementia have to move in their surroundings freely, it is important to design a path they can follow without really thinking where they are going. This path should let them flow free around the garden but still allow caregivers to keep them under control.

Paths have to be designed to lead people towards a destination, through which they can find distractions such as plants and flowers, benches, ponds or fountains, etc., anything that could be an interesting object to put their attention for a while and then move to another thing.

 

4. Plants for fun an distraction

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Plants are obviously going to be the primary focal point in a garden, so they have to be adapted for people with dementia. The kind of plants that should be in this garden are the ones that provide sensory stimulation. People with dementia like to touch and feel things, so plants have to be placed at an achievable level and have to make beautiful sounds, and have bright colors, strong smells, and interesting textures.

 

5. Good lighting

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When the night falls, it is challenging to recognize the features of the garden, so it is important that the path, entrances and exits and every object that needs to become visible, has a lighting system incorporated. It is also good to illuminate certain parts of doors, like keyholes or doorknobs, which are generally hard to find in the dark.

People with dementia are as curious and active as kids, but the difference is that they simply forget things and lose track of time. If you want to learn more about garden design for people with dementia, don’t forget to buy the book “Designing outdoor spaces for people with dementia,” edited by Mary Marshall and Annie Pollock.