Living at home

Supporting people to remain in their own homes and reducing the stigma associated with dementia in the community has become a priority in the healthcare sector over recent years. As the number of care homes reduces and hospital beds are at a premium, there is an urgent need for more education to understand how a person can be supported to remain living at home, not only safely but with purpose.

At Find, we understand the difficulties of living at home when dementia takes away memories and creates confusion in what has always been a safe and recognisable environment. We take for granted being able to find the toilet or make a cup of tea, but even in the initial stages of dementia, lapses in memory can cause distress and confusion. Find has lots of suggestions and recommendations to support independent living, but it is important that the support put in place is appropriate to an individual. Forcing change on a person who is fiercely fighting for their independence will result in the person becoming agitated if they feel someone is “interfering.”  Someone who allows others to take control too soon, may become complacent too soon and become reliant on others when they still have the potential for maintain control.

Social interaction and meaningful activity are essential to maintain personhood and enable you to support in a person centred way. Daily tasks and routines are key to maintaining purpose, but the environment can certainly help maintain independence, confidence, and dignity.

When considering implementing environmental changes, it is important to understand how dementia is affecting the person you are supporting.

Many of us know the main symptoms of dementia but may not have considered the impact of these on how a person perceives their environment. We have tried to provide ideas below on how to make changes, but these are not exhaustive as we stress a “person centred” approach needs to be taken

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