It is heartbreaking to witness a loved one suffer from dementia. Dementia is a debilitating condition that causes the elderly to lose brain function, robbing them of their dignity and independence. Creating a comfortable space where they can thrive is one way to make them feel safe, secure, and in control of their surroundings. There are two ways to accomplish this. One is to place them in structured environments.
Many older adults in memory care services have access to facilities that make daily life easier. Some memory care communities, for example, have circular hallways rather than dead ends, clean, simple layouts, and enclosed outdoor spaces. These places provide them with a secure environment in which they can roam freely, exercise autonomy, and live private lives with dignity.
The creative ways these places are decorated truly enrich them and make them feel like home. Older adults with dementia thrive in familiar environments that ground them and allow them to see through the fog in their minds. Here are some suggestions for decorating the rooms of residents in communities offering memory care near Dallas, TX.
Furniture With Solid Colors
Older adults with dementia can become easily disoriented and misinterpret harmless stimuli in their surroundings as a threat. It is beneficial to have solid, reasonably contrasting colors in a room to keep such incidents at bay.
Furniture and objects with distinct colors help people with dementia distinguish between various stimuli and perceive them for what they are. For example, place a solid-colored couch or armchair against a contrast wall.
However, it is critical not to overdo it. Objects with stark contrasts can be detrimental. For example, dark contrast rugs on the floor can cause slip-and-fall or tripping accidents because people with dementia may misinterpret the dark shape on the floor as a hole. Objects with busy patterns or designs (such as mosaicked wallpapers) are also best avoided.
Let in Ample Natural Light
Dark corners and shadows in the room can be a concern for residents with dementia. They may be perceived as threats and can be mentally disruptive. You can avoid this by flooding the room with as much natural light as possible.
Keep the windows and curtains open at all times during the day. Make sure no large trees or hedges are blocking the windows so that ample sunlight can enter. While using artificial lighting, ensure that the furniture and major objects in the room are aligned with the source of light to avoid shadows.
Try the Snoezelen Experience
The Snoezelen Experience, from the Dutch words “explore” and “doze,” is a multi-sensory experience that can be therapeutic for people with dementia. It entails soothing images and warm, soft lighting to create a peaceful and calming atmosphere. You can introduce this ambiance to the memory care room with ambient lighting, soothing sounds, aroma therapy, and serene displays such as waves, galaxies, or swaying meadows.
Uplift the Space With Familiar Home Décor
Placing comforting objects from the resident’s past life is one of the simplest ways to inspire familiarity and comfort in a memory care room. This could include soothing artworks they once enjoyed, the scent of their favorite flower (via aroma diffusers), a favorite quilt or blanket, or even family photographs.