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Creating a Dementia-Friendly Environment at Home

Everyday life can be challenging and distressing for someone with Alzheimer’s or dementia. Making everyday tasks easier helps those with dementia remain independent for as long as possible. Here are some simple changes you can make in your loved one’s home that can help reduce stress and anxiety.

Overall Home

Clutter-Free Space

When there’s a lot of clutter around, it can be difficult for someone with dementia to see the items they need at any moment. Clutter can create stress and frustration when your loved one tries to navigate their home. Clearing away unnecessary items and emphasizing focus on things your loved one uses helps them quickly get what they need.

Contrasting Colors

Using contrasting colors helps people with dementia easily see valuable objects like a red plate on a white placemat or painting the bathroom door. On the other hand, too many patterns can have the opposite effect. Too many or clashing patterns can create visual confusion and cause agitation from being visually overstimulated.

Open Doors & Add Signs

Someone with dementia may not remember where rooms are in their home, so leaving interior doors open is essential. When the insides of the rooms are visible, it’s easier to navigate the home. If your senior loved one is frequently lost in their home, consider putting simple one-word signs like “kitchen” or pictures of a bed or toilet with an arrow pointing to those essential rooms.

Add Orienting Items

Feeling oriented to time and day can support cognitive functioning. Consider adding an easy-to-read clock that clearly states the time, time of day, days, and date to the room where they spend the most time and/or on their bedside table. They may also benefit from a large-print calendar to track days, significant events, and appointments.

Improve Lighting

Good lighting helps people living with dementia to make sense of where they are and find the things they need. Natural light can make a real difference to people who often become confused about the time of day or experience sundowning symptoms. Stay on top of window cleaning and try to eliminate unnecessary curtains and outside foliage to let the light through the windows better.


Emphasize Items Used Often

Most things are hidden behind cabinet doors and inside drawers in a kitchen, resulting in those with dementia opening them constantly since they don’t remember where their items are. Keep kitchen surfaces as clutter-free as possible, and put larger items your loved one uses most prominently in front and center. Place a sign or photo of those items outside the cabinet door or drawer to help them easily find smaller items like utensils and cups. You could also remove or replace the cabinet doors with glass doors so you can easily see inside.

Consider Adaptive Items

As we age, health conditions like arthritis, stroke, or dementia can make it difficult to grip and use everyday items like utensils and cups. If your senior loved one struggles with these items, consider getting adaptive utensils, dishware, and drinkware.

Improve Mealtime

Eating can become a challenge for someone with dementia and dampen their appetite and willingness to eat. To encourage your loved one with dementia to eat, you can limit distractions like noise or TV, use plates that make food highly visible, and be flexible and adapt to their preferences. Here are more tips to encourage your loved one with dementia to eat: How to Get Someone with Dementia to Eat.


You can make your loved one’s bathroom more straightforward by adding a contrasting toilet seat cover that draws attention to it. White toilets often blend in with the floor and walls and aren’t as noticeable. Consider adding a raised toilet seat to make sitting and standing easier, and clearly label hot and cold faucets.

Dementia Care in Las Vegas

At Essential Care, we know how overwhelming it can be to navigate dementia and care for those with dementia. Our approach to dementia care is person-focused, prioritizing safety and comfort and encouraging cognitive stimulation. We’d love to help you and your family navigate dementia, so contact Essential Care today!

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