When helping a person with memory loss/dementia you must remember that you can not change the person. We can only change our approach, the task at hand or the environment.
How do you change the environment to help adapt for the new changes.
The main areas that can be problematic are the bathrooms, kitchen and the bedroom.
One area many people struggle with is getting up and down from chairs, toilets, couches, beds, etc.
When is the time you need these areas (video clip)
Watch for the person going to sit down and the suddenly drop quickly (many time this is seen on a lower toilet and the person hits the seat hard. You can also see the person trying very hard to muscle it back up from the lower surface. If you see these things, then you can look at ways to raise the surface. (pics of furniture risers, bedside commode over toilet. Also having arm rests to chairs can be helpful. Grab bars can also help the person when have the inability to get up with just the legs.
The person with dementia tend to loose things or can’t find things. Reducing clutter in the house enables you to be able find things easier if something get moved by the person with memory loss , the person also can have difficulty determining what objects are used for. Having just the toothbrush and toothpaste on the counter reduces the ability to use the object incorrectly.
Block unneeded information. Example: cover all the extra buttons on the microwave only leaving the needed ones to be seen.
It I important to remove anything with trip hazards for the person with memory loss. Many times the brain has to take more time to interpret the visual information in our environments making it difficult to see things. People who have memory changes can be very sensitive. A rug that has contrast in color from the floor is good to place outside the shower. It can be upsetting to step out onto a cold floor. Just make sure the rug is non slip. Take it up off the floor when not in use so that it is not a trip hazard with normal bathroom use.
Lighting can also be a big impact for the individual with memory changes. Sometimes they can no longer remember where the light switch is or know when they should turn on the light. There are motion activated lights that can be installed. There are permanent at the light switch that will need an electrician or handy person in your family. There are also lights that can just be screwed into your light fixtures that will do the same thing.
Shower chairs can also be helpful. If your space is limited, don’t forget that you can turn the chair backwards allowing more room to step over the tub.