As symptoms of dementia progress, accessibility in various respects tends to become a bigger issue. Thankfully, we live in a golden age of clever inventions that are specifically designed to make the lives of people with limited abilities easier. We won’t list actual device brands here, but rather categories of devices you may want to look into for your loved one living with dementia.
Memory is one of the first aspects affected by dementia, and using some objects to enhance memory can help your loved one’s day to day activities:
- Whiteboards can feature lists and instructions, and be kept in visible areas.
- Large-scale calendars on the wall can help to highlight important dates and appointments.
- Pill boxes can help your loved one remember which medications to take on which day and what part of the day (and those that are more advanced whether they’ve already taken their medication for the day ).
- Timers and alarms can help to remind your loved one if they are cooking something, or doing another task like laundry.
- Labels on cabinets to help them remember where to find items.
- Pictures of loved ones, especially with people’s name and relation underneath can help keep names and faces top of mind. If arranged in an album, these can provide a fun item to look through on a regular basis, to reminisce about fun times and reinforce memory.
By far the biggest category of equipment relates to safety items available for virtually every room in the house. Some ideas to get you started are:
In the Kitchen
- Rubber non-slip gloves to help with washing the dishes.
- Non-spill cups with easy to grip handles.
- Temperature controls on faucets that help prevent scalding.
In the Bathroom
- Handrails and steps for getting in and out of the bath/shower.
- Seats for sitting in the shower.
- Flexible shower heads to make bathing with limited mobility easier.
- Raised toilet seats that make it easier to sit down.
Around the House
- Non-slip mats in any areas where the floors present a risk of slipping.
- Stairlifts, when it becomes too difficult for your loved one to use the stairs.
- Adaptive switches that allow your loved one to turn items on and off more easily (but also limit the range of options they are able to control).
- Telecoms that allow your loved one to get ahold of you from any room in the house.
As your loved one’s abilities become more limited, it may be time to consider getting some extra help with in-home care by a knowledgeable person who has experience with managing dementia symptoms.
To get a better idea of where your loved one stands right now, and what level of support you would ideally be offering him or her, check out our Home Care Quiz, which assesses 6 key areas of well being:
- Eating Habits
- Personal Hygiene
- Care of Home
- Safety/Mental Attitude
At the end of our Home Care Quiz, you’ll also have the opportunity to schedule a free 30-Min virtual one-on-one session with Scott, our Memory Care Program Director, to get all your questions answered!