Items To Make Daily Life Easier
Homes can be adapted to make daily life easier for people living with dementia and their caregivers. This includes using different types of equipment and improving the design and layout of the home. Equipment doesn’t have to be expensive or complicated to be helpful. Even small, everyday items have been found to make a positive difference to people with dementia living in their own homes.
Equipment to help with memory
There are a range of memory aids to help people remember important things.
- Whiteboards are useful for writing lists and reminders.
- Clocks with large faces are easier to read, and can display the date, and even the time of day.
- Diaries and calendars are useful for keeping track of appointments and routines.
- Equipment such as dosette boxes – boxes with a separate pill compartment for each day of the week – can help with taking medication. Dosette boxes are more suitable for people in the earlier and middle stages of dementia because the person needs to know what day of the week it is.
- Automatic pill dispensers – which can be set in advance –may be more suitable for those with more advanced memory difficulties.
Equipment to help with household tasks
Specially-designed kitchen equipment is available. This aims to make cooking easier and safer for people who have difficulties with movement and co-ordination. This includes:
- Grip extensions for controls on appliances like ovens and taps
- Timers set to remind people that they have food in the oven or on the hob
- Tray trolleys to transport items
- Signs to remind the person where cooking items are located
- Non-slip rubber gloves to make washing-up safer.
Equipment to help with eating and drinking
Dementia may affect a person’s co-ordination or swallowing and, as a result, their ability to eat and drink. The person may benefit from equipment such as:
- Cutlery with cushioned handles that are easier to grip
- Non-spill cups with large handles
- One-way straws which do not let liquid travel back down
Some people living with dementia may have difficulties eating and drinking due to visual problems, such as not ‘seeing’ items on the table because they are a similar colour to the tablecloth. Use cutlery, crockery and other tableware items in colours that contrast with each other. The colour of the food can also have an effect – for instance light-coloured foods (such as mashed potatoes) on a light-coloured plate may not be very visible. A dark red plate could help in this situation.
Other Useful Resources
Here are more resources about dementia
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