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Local Live-in Care Agency's Guide To A Dementia Friendly Home

home carer helping elderly lady in the kitchen

Creating a dementia-friendly home is more than just a matter of safety; it's about creating a space that is comfortable, familiar and safe while also still enabling your loved one to keep some independence. 

By making a few simple changes, you can really reduce common stressors that can come along with dementia, such as confusion and anxiety. 

Why a Dementia-Friendly Home?

A dementia-friendly home is one that is tailored to provide a safe and stimulating environment that supports a person's abilities and limitations, helping them maintain a sense of independence as long as possible. The changes we suggest are intertwined with the person's dignity, self-esteem, and overall comfort.

"Home" is a sanctuary that evolves with us through life's ups and downs. But as dementia touches families and friends, the meaning of home changes. So how can we transform our homes to remain a comforting and safe place for those living with dementia? 

A great place to start is to include clear labels on doors and cabinets, lots of lighting to reduce shadows and glare, and get rid of any tripping hazards so your loved one, or home care client, who suffers from dementia can make their way through the space safely. Your goal is to help your loved one feel secure and at home in their own space.

As a local live-in care agency we thought we would create a comprehensive guide on how to create a home that is dementia friendly. We’ve included things we’ve learnt along the way, and with our experience spanning over 30 years of in-home dementia care, there is a lot of knowledge to give!  

Introduction: The Power of a Dementia-Friendly Home

Before we start, we thought we should highlight that every individual is unique, and because of this, each home must be adapted to meet their specific home care needs, it isn’t a case of one size fits all.  

Making a home dementia-friendly isn't just about safety; it's about crafting a space that feels right for your loved one or home care client. With each adjustment, we aim to enhance their sense of belonging and familiarity—a place where memories are treasured and daily life carries a gentle rhythm of simplicity and ease.

In crafting this guide, we have drawn upon a wealth of experience, understanding deeply the challenges that dementia can bring into a home. Our recommendations are made with the hope of providing reassurance, enabling relatives and local live-in carers to feel confident in their role, and offering comfort to those who live with dementia, day in and day out. 

The diagnosis of dementia alters every aspect of life, causing a shift in abilities, emotions, and behaviours. For lots of individuals, especially those in the early stages, the familiar surroundings of home can bring a sense of security and continuity. 

Making some changes to yours, or your home care clients home, to suit their unique needs is a labour of love, an act that speaks volumes, and one that can significantly enhance the quality of life for both the person living with the condition and their relatives or live-in carers. 

Understanding Dementia: A New Lens On Daily Living

Before we help you transform the spaces you call home, we need to take a moment to understand the impact of dementia. Dementia is an umbrella term for a range of conditions that cause changes and damage to the brain. These changes often lead to memory loss, difficulty in performing familiar tasks, and challenges in communication.

As dementia progresses, so too can the perception of one's environment. Familiar spaces may become disorienting, causing frustration and distress. It is our compassionate mission to help reduce the strain of these challenges by tailoring the living space to reduce confusion and enhance clarity. Simple yet effective strategies, such as consistent colour schemes to differentiate rooms or the use of pictures instead of words for labelling, can provide much-needed orientation. 

A nurturing approach to modifying your home goes beyond the physical adjustments; it's also about maintaining a routine and rhythm that resonates with familiarity and comfort. 

Consistent daily schedules, accessible spaces for social interaction, and areas for personal reflection are all crucial elements that craft a supportive atmosphere. The support of a friend, relative or live-in caregiver can play a crucial role in implementing and maintaining these strategies, providing continuous assistance and reassurance to the individual living with dementia.

In the following sections of this guide, we will explore practical tips and specific recommendations to guide you in the process of creating a dementia-friendly home where you or a live-in carer can provide the very best in home dementia care. We address the complex needs presented by dementia and offer solutions that will support you and your loved one in embracing this chapter of life with grace and dignity.

Tips for Transforming Your Home into a Dementia-Friendly Haven

Navigating the complexities of dementia care at home can be tricky, but every small change serves as a stepping stone toward a more supportive and responsive environment. This section is a treasure trove of practical advice categorised to cover every major area of concern.

1. Safety Measures: Adapting for Peace of Mind

Safety is non-negotiable in a dementia-friendly home. It might be a good idea to think about making the following home changes for your loved one or home care client:

Start by assessing the layout of your home or your home care client’s home, searching for potential hazards that can be modified or removed to prevent falls—a common risk for those living with dementia. This might include securing rugs to the floor, removing clutter that could obstruct pathways, or installing motion-activated lights to illuminate spaces day and night. Sometimes, the simplest changes, such as ensuring a clear path to the bathroom, can have a major impact on safety and independence.

Another tip from our local live-in carers was to install locks on cabinets that contain harmful substances. This precaution helps to prevent accidental ingestion of dangerous items while allowing the household to maintain a sense of normalcy. 

Fire safety is also very important, so regular checks on smoke detectors are essential and may include using devices with automatic shut-off features for added security.

If you have a home care client or loved one who might wander, technology can be an ally. Utilise door alarms or GPS devices that provide alerts, enabling caregivers to act swiftly should a loved one leave the safety of their home environment. Also, consider using labels with simple pictures or symbols on doors and drawers to help orient your loved one to their surroundings and to assist them in finding what they need with ease.

Our goal is to help your loved one or home care client to navigate their environment with confidence, minimising risks while promoting a sense of well-being. In this spirit, let's explore additional ways to enhance the quality of life for those in our care.

Home Modifications for Safety

  • Ensuring good lighting to reduce confusion and the perception of 'shadows' 

  • Removing or securing carpets and rugs to reduce tripping hazards 

  • Installing grab bars in the bathroom

Installing Alarms and Safety Locks

  • Door alarms to prevent wandering 

  • Safety locks on cabinets with harmful substances 

  • Appropriate fire and CO2 alarms

2. Creating Routine and Familiarity

Predictability is incredibly comforting for those with dementia. Establishing a routine can help to really reduce anxiety and support continuity in life.

The value of a good daily routine cannot be overstated when providing local in-home dementia care for a client. A well-structured day with familiar activities provides a comforting rhythm that can enhance cognition and emotional well-being. This includes set times for meals, medication, exercise, social interaction, and relaxation — all tailored to align with each individual's best moments of lucidity and energy throughout the day.

Encourage activities that maintain engagement and provide a sense of achievement and purpose. This could involve simple household chores, gardening, or hobbies that your loved one has always enjoyed. The key is to be consistent, yet flexible, adapting to the changing capabilities and moods of the individual.

Furthermore, consider creating visual schedules with clear, easy-to-understand images to outline the day's activities. These can serve as gentle reminders that help orientate and reassure your loved one about the day ahead, offering structure in a world that may increasingly seem unpredictable.

Remember, each person's experience with dementia is unique. Pay close attention to what works best, and be prepared to adjust routines as needed to maintain a comforting and supportive environment. Our guidance aims to help your loved one get the very best local dementia care at home, by arming you with the knowledge to create a familiar and secure setting.

Daily Routines

  • Waking up and going to bed at the same time 

  • Organising activities in a predictable order 

  • Ensuring meals and medication are given regularly and consistently

Memory Aids and Timers

  • Large, easy-to-read clocks 

  • Calendar systems and task reminders 

  • Routine charts with simple pictograms

3. Communication Strategies At Home: Building Bridges

Communication is an artform, especially in the context of dementia, which is something our live-in carers can definitely attest to. Here's how to bridge the gap more effectively:

Effective communication is more than just words; it's about connection. When dementia alters the way a person expresses and receives information, it becomes crucial to adapt our approach. Patience and presence for those living with dementia are the cornerstones of nurturing communication. 

Always approach your loved one calmly and speak in clear, concise sentences. Making eye contact and using gentle touch can reassure and re-establish a bond if they become confused or upset.

Aim to listen with your full attention, giving the individual time to respond without pressure. This validation of their thoughts and feelings is an essential aspect of their dignity. Visual aids, such as pictures or objects, can also assist in bridging the communication gap, serving as points of reference that spark recognition and understanding.

Remember to observe non-verbal cues, as body language often conveys emotions more clearly than spoken words in those living with dementia. By honing your interpretive skills, you can anticipate needs and alleviate frustrations, strengthening the connection despite the challenges of the disease.

Embrace flexibility in your responses, affirming their feelings and finding ways to redirect conversations to a positive space if distress arises. Recognising that your role is not just to converse but to comfort and connect is paramount.

In the end, it's not about perfect dialogue, but about creating moments of clarity and joy with your loved one or Live-in home care client. As we continue to navigate these waters, always steer towards compassionate exchanges that affirm the individual's worth and contribute to their sense of security and love.

Enhancing Understanding and Comfort

  • Maintain eye contact and use non-threatening body language 

  • Use photographs and tangible items to aid in communication 

  • Validate feelings and offer reassurance throughout interactions

Non-Verbal Communication Tools

  • Learn and interpret individualised non-verbal cues 

  • Employ touch and gestures as comforting forms of communication 

  • Create a calm environment to reduce anxiety and promote easier communication

Effective Communication Techniques

  • Maintaining eye contact and using a calm, gentle voice 

  • Respecting personal space and avoiding the use of unclear language 

  • Encouraging active listening and non-verbal cues

Encouraging Independence

  • Providing simple choices 

  • Breaking down tasks into manageable steps 

  • Offering assistance without being overbearing

4. Providing Emotional Support

A bustling household can be overwhelming for someone with dementia. Here's how to create a calmer, more enjoyable space for them to live in and ensures they can receive local dementia care at home for as long as possible:

  • Creating a safe and calming space requires attention to both the physical and emotional atmosphere of the home. It's about fostering an environment where your loved one feels secure, valued, and loved, allowing them to navigate their day with as much independence as possible.

  • Begin with simplifying the living space. Minimise clutter and remove items that can cause confusion or agitation. Soft lighting and tranquil colours can contribute to a soothing atmosphere, while familiar objects and photos can provide comforting points of reference. It's also beneficial to have a designated quiet area where your loved one or home care client can retreat to when feeling overwhelmed.

  • In your daily interactions, prioritise listening and empathy. A supportive touch, a kind word, and a patient ear can make a significant difference in their emotional well-being. Celebrate small successes together and offer encouragement when challenges arise, always reminding your loved one of their importance and contribution to the family dynamic.

Remember, your emotional support is a beacon of light in the fog of dementia. Your calm presence can be the most secure space for your loved one's heart and mind.

A Calming Environment

  • Soft, familiar music 

  • Time in nature or with pets 

  • Soft textures and soothing colours

Encouraging Social Interactions

  • Regular visits from friends and family 

  • Volunteering together in the community 

  • Engaging in group activities outside the home

5. Nutrition and Wellness At Home: Nourishing the Mind and Body

Healthy living isn't less important when dementia is in the picture. In fact, it's more vital than ever to maintain good health. A holistic perspective on nutrition emphasises the importance of a balanced, vibrant diet for individuals with dementia. 

Think of food as fuel for both the body and mind, considering how certain nutrients can support cognitive function and overall health. Incorporating a variety of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean proteins, and healthy fats can provide essential vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. If your loved one receives care from a local live-in dementia carer, they will help to ensure that they are eating a diet that is well balanced and healthy.

Encourage your loved one or in-home dementia care client to stay hydrated, as dehydration can exacerbate symptoms of confusion and cognitive decline. Likewise, mindful meal preparation can become a shared activity that boosts engagement and allows for joyful experiences centred around food. 

With every meal, strive to create a comfortable and relaxed setting, free from distractions. This encourages mindful eating and aids in digestion, ensuring optimal nutrient absorption. 

Remember, the goal is not only sustaining physical health but also enriching daily life with flavours and textures that delight, bringing a sense of normalcy and pleasure to the dining experience.

Mindful Mealtime Practices

  • Savouring each bite in a distraction-free environment 

  • Engaging the senses with colourful, aromatic dishes 

  • Emphasising the social aspect of dining by eating together with your loved one or home care client

Supporting Cognitive Health Through Diet

  • Including omega-3 fatty acids for brain health 

  • Offering antioxidant-rich berries and leafy greens 

  • Focusing on hydration to reduce confusion and improve clarity

Physical and Mental Activities

  • Safe exercise routines - practised with a relative, friend, or live-in caregiver

  • Age-appropriate brain games and puzzles 

  • Routine documentation of mood and engagement levels

6. Seeking Professional Help At Home: When It Takes a Village

Seeking professional help is a big step in upholding the quality of life for someone living with dementia. It is a demonstration of strength and an acknowledgement that caring for a loved one is a team effort. Here at Access Care our experienced live-in care professionals can offer valuable guidance by proposing tailored care strategies, supporting medical needs, and suggesting assistive devices that promote independence.

As you look at all the options for professional assistance, prioritise openness and dialogue with your loved one. Make an extra effort to talk about the benefits of receiving expert home care and how it compliments the love and support they receive at home. By involving them in the decision-making process about hiring a local private carer, you encourage an environment of respect and autonomy.

When you enlist the help of skilled professionals, you’re not handing over control; rather, you’re expanding the circle of care around your loved one. Their expertise can bring both peace of mind and improved outcomes for all involved.

Sometimes, caring for someone with dementia requires professional support. This support can come in various forms, but the kindness and empathy remain constant.

Benefits of Live-in Caregivers

  • 24 hour live in care

  • Consistency in face-to-face care and monitoring 

  • A dedicated partner in the care process

  • Companion care

How we, as a Local Live-in Care Agency, Can Help

  • Coordinating medical and dementia care at home

  • Providing respite care for family caregivers 

  • Offering training for family members on specific dementia care techniques


As a local live in care agency we know all too well how caring for someone with dementia requires love, courage, and commitment. Each day offers chances to strengthen bonds and find moments of happiness despite the difficulties. It's a journey that demands patience, empathy, and strength, and it becomes more manageable when we come together as a community.

As a relative or private home carer, your dedication to creating a nurturing environment for your loved one is profound and deeply respected. Take pride in the knowledge that every effort you make contributes significantly to their quality of life. 

Embrace support when offered, and remember that seeking assistance is a sign of wisdom, not weakness. Consider the valuable support a live-in carer could provide in lightening your load and ensuring your loved one receives round-the-clock support and companion care.

We recognise that every individual's dementia journey is unique, which is why our care plans are tailored to meet the specific needs and preferences of each client. Whether it's assisting with exercises, accompanying to medical appointments, or simply providing a listening ear, our live-in carers are dedicated to promoting the physical, emotional, and mental well-being of those in our care. With round-the-clock assistance from our compassionate live-in carers, you can have peace of mind knowing that your loved one is in capable and caring hands. 

If you have a relative or loved one who could benefit from the support of a local live-in caregiver, please don't hesitate to reach out to us. You can call us on 01264 319399 or email to learn more about how we can assist you. As a client of ours, you can trust that one of our home carers will provide you with round-the-clock assistance tailored to meet your individual needs. Let us be your partner in care, supporting you every step of the way.


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