Community Blog

Visibility Makes a Senior with Dementia Safer and Happier

By Marcie Silverman

Dealing with the changes brought by dementia can mean that your senior doesn't process visual cues the same way that she did before she developed dementia. You can make some changes that help her to be able to see the world around her a little more clearly.

Use Pictures to Eliminate Uncertainty

Closed doors and cabinets can be confusing for your elderly family member. It's all too easy to forget what's on the other side of that door and it can make for a difficult time when your senior wants something or needs a particular room. One solution is to use pictures on the outside of cabinet doors, closet doors, and room doors to describe what's on the other side.

Reduce Glare and Shadows

Shadows are always a complication for someone with dementia because your senior's brain can't process them the same way that she did in the past. It's much better to try to avoid as many shadows and areas of glare as possible. One way to do this is to keep lighting even throughout the day. Lights hooked up to sensors can help you to do this automatically.

Choose Contrasting Colors Whenever Possible

When everything is the same color, though, that doesn’t help your senior to be able to distinguish one object from another. Contrasting colors can help your elderly family member to make out the shapes of objects, like the toilet seat in an otherwise monochromatic bathroom. This is also why some occupational therapists might recommend using brightly-colored dishes to contrast both food and the table top.

Pay Particular Attention to Large Areas of Glass

Larger areas of glass, especially if they're really clear and clean, can often seem to disappear for someone who has dementia. One way around this is to put bright, obvious stickers or decals at eye level. You should choose ones that secure to the glass using static rather than glue or adhesive. That way they're easy to remove without damaging the glass. Putting these at eye level helps to make sure that your elderly family member is more likely to notice them.

Your elderly family member's perspective on different situations is going to change as her dementia progresses. Home care providers can help you to keep up with those changes and how they impact your senior's daily life. Small adjustments can make a big difference when it comes to assessing your elderly family member's safety.

IF YOU OR AN AGING LOVED-ONE ARE CONSIDERING HOME CARE IN MCLEAN, VIRGINIA, PLEASE CONTACT THE CARING STAFF AT HOME HELPERS HOME CARE. OFFERING HOME CARE IN: ARLINGTON, FAIRFAX, AND LOUDOUN COUNTIES – ARLINGTON, ALEXANDRIA, MCLEAN, FAIRFAX, VIENNA, OAKTON, RESTON, HERNDON, FALLS CHURCH, GREAT FALLS, STERLING, ASHBURN, AND LEESBURG. CALL TODAY: (703) 766-0154