Offering a safe, secure, and nurturing environment for a loved one who is living with dementia is the goal of many caregivers. In addition to some of the physical modifications you can make to your space, here are 5 lifestyle changes that may be help to promote well-being and independence at home:
- Get support in your community
You may have family, friends, or neighbours who can help. Regular visits can both help to reduce social isolation for your loved one, and help you to reduce the risk of caregiver burnout. Regular home visits from a personal support worker may also be available in your community. Don’t know where to start? Contact your closest local Alzheimer Society in Ontario.
- Put hobbies and interests in the forefront
If your loved one loves to read, making books and magazines accessible may be a great comfort. Likewise, puzzles, craft projects, and other hobbies can be incorporated into a main living space to provide sensory stimulation, and the comfort of familiarity.
Does your loved one love to garden? Check out our dementia-friendly therapeutic gardening tips. Even in late-stage dementia, a small sensory garden tub in a living space can help to stimulate the senses!
- Bring dementia-friendly precautions to the kitchen
People in early-stage dementia are generally able to manage their own safety in the kitchen to a large extent. Help to promote independence by looking at some small ways to help them to find their way around when things look a little unfamiliar. However, as the disease progresses, safety may become a bigger preoccupation. Consider barring off certain risky drawers and cupboards using safety latches. You may even choose to disconnect a gas range when not in use, to minimize risk of a gas leak.
- Safety matters!
Make sure that fire alarms are working, remove loose rugs, add socket covers where appropriate, and make sure that there is adequate railing in bathrooms. You may also choose to replace small household appliances like irons with ones with an automatic shut-off feature.
- Promote independence
There are many ways to promote independence at home. This may be as simple as removing doors from closets so that outfits, sweaters and shoes are readily visible. Additionally, you may decide to label kitchen cabinets, or install glass cabinet doors.
Living safely at home and in your community is one of the cornerstones of living well with Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias. For more information about safety, wandering, and locating technologies, visit findingyourway.com.