Tying your shoelaces is easy right? You’ve done it numerous times before and it should be a simple task. But, imagine not being able to make sense of the two pieces of fabric between your fingers. Living with dementia means that everyday tasks become gradually difficult to perform, causing frustration, a lack of confidence and a loss of independence.
Care home environments can help those living with dementia to boost their confidence, here are a few key factors we take into consideration when working with our care home clients.
Planning is essential
Every care home is different, a crucial step in our approach is working in partnership with providers to guarantee that their communal and living areas are designed with their users in mind. Often, people living with dementia suffer from sensory impairment, meaning they may find it hard to differentiate between tonally similar objects. For example if a wall, door and architrave in a room are painted in similar colours, it can be very difficult to distinguish the doorway. This can be a confusing and scary experience for people living with dementia, especially combined with an unfamiliar environment. Colours and tones are a great way to differentiate locations and objects whilst establishing perimeters.
Designs, textures, fabrics, carpets and worktops in care homes should be simple and free from confusing patterns. Surfaces that do feature patches of colour can cause users to feel stressed or nervous. In some circumstances, these surfaces may appear dirty, causing someone living with dementia to spend extended periods of time cleaning it.
Choosing the most appropriate furniture to ensure residents feel safe and secure should be approached with as much thought and consideration as possible. We suggest providing tables, chairs, beds and wardrobes that are strong, robust and sturdy. Preferably, furniture items should include opposing shades and textures to support people to detect certain areas.
At Knightsbridge, we design dementia furniture to reduce any potential anxiety for users. For example, we designed our Caspia furniture range for living areas and bedrooms, but some items are also suitable for kitchen areas as they incorporate vision panels and contrasting features.
Sometimes, for individuals living with the fear of dementia, embarrassment can hinder what they are open to try. It’s important that users can see where everything is, making those everyday tasks a little easier, even if that is just making a cup of tea.
We want to know about your care home, does design play a key role in your living areas? Do changes to your interiors impact your clients? Tell us more and tag us on social media @knightsbridgefurniture on Instagram and LinkedIn.