January a time to look back at where we have come from…

Dementia environments have become a crucial part of caring for the elderly

 Ten years ago, dementia was seen as part of the ageing process by most people. After a lot of understanding and in-depth learning, it was highlighted that the environment played a crucial role in the care of people living with dementia.

Many of the behavioural concerns that arise when a person has dementia can be connected to the environment or external causes as opposed to being physical symptoms of the condition. To effectively address and reduce some of those distressed behaviours, we need to first consider what might be causing the person to behave that way.

One way to approach this is to look at what is happening around them. For example, if the person can find the toilet and use it, they are more likely to be mobile, inclined to eat and drink more, and anxiety levels are reduced.  This, will in-turn, lead to less distressed behaviour and reduce the risk of falls.

We have come a long way in the past ten years, but as our knowledge and understanding increase, so must our environments.

Creating a dementia inclusive environment

For people with dementia living in care homes and hospitals, it is essential internal and external spaces meet dementia friendly principles.

  1. Make the environment interactive – give residents a purpose
  2. Make it socially engaging
  3. Make the environment easy to navigate and free from clutter – to prevent falls and distress
  4. Always promote independence, confidence, and dignity

The benefits

There are many things we can do to in the person’s environment to decrease the likelihood of causing behaviours that challenge in dementia care. These tactics can improve the safety and the quality of life for those living with dementia, others around them, and their caregivers.

If you would like to find out more about improving your care environment contact us today