Modifying your home
There are many ways to help a person living with young onset dementia live well at home.
You can start by reviewing their home environment and making their surroundings more familiar. For example:
- Use bright globes to improve lighting
- Place chairs and couches by windows so they can take advantage of sunlight
- Place personal items and photos on display for reminiscence (this also can reduce their stress and anxiety)
- Place regularly used items in their line of sight
- Use labels that will help them locate and identify things
- Replace appliances with models they will recognise
- Have distinctive coloured doors with contrasting door frames to help with orientation.
Use our help sheet below for tips on how to create a dementia-friendly environment at home.
Safety in the home
There are also things you can do to reduce the chances of someone having an accident at home.
- Make sure hot/cold indicators are clearly identified on taps
- Introduce assistive technologies to improve safety and wellbeing, such as personal alarms and timers, calendar clocks, touch lamps and walking sticks
- Arrange for regular checking of smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors
- Contact the local fire service about a free home fire safety visit
- Help prevent falls by making sure the house is well lit, removing trip hazards, such as rugs and having handrails fitted.
An occupational therapist can give advice on items to improve safety in the home. A physiotherapist can provide guidance on appropriate exercises to reduce the risk of falls.
Speak to a doctor for general advice.
The Dementia-friendly home app
Dementia Australia’s app is made for people living with dementia of all ages. It’s a great resource for carers to make the home more accessible for people with dementia.
Watch the following video: ‘Dementia Friendly home’ to learn how you can improve familiarity at home for someone living with dementia or read the video transcript.