A soothing, calming atmosphere is helpful for everybody. For a person with dementia, it can help minimize their confusion and help them to concentrate and rest. There are a number of factors you should consider when creating the perfect environment for a person living with Alzheimer’s or Dementia.
Noise or Silence – Sound, including background noise, can cause undue stress on a person living with cognitive decline. Too loud can agitate and disorientate. Complete silence can be equally as disorientating to people with dementia. Therefore, gentle and soft background noise can be calming, such as a familiar radio station with low music and gentle chatter.
Decorate Carefully – Home furnishings can unknowingly cause distress for people living with Dementia. They may mistake their own reflection in a mirror for that of a stranger watching them.
Lighting – Lighting is incredibly important for people living with dementia. As we get older, we tend to struggle with our eyesight and shadows can be misinterpreted as something or someone threatening.
A Safe Space – It is important that an individual with Dementia have a place to retreat to when they are feeling stressed or anxious. This doesn’t have to be a large area, it can simply be a comfy chair and a small table, however, it should be a calming place, separate for the hubbub of the rest of the house, where they can relax and perhaps do soothing activities such as puzzles or folding laundry or holding a pet.
November – Alzheimer’s Awareness Month
The month of November is known as Alzheimer’s Awareness Month. President Ronald Reagan made that designation in 1983 and it is something that is still recognized today. According to the Alzheimer’s Association, at that time there were less than two million people with the disease. Through the years that number has grown to more than five million.
National Memory Screening Week – the First Week of November
To find an Alzheimer’s Foundation of America (AFA) National Memory Screening Site near you visit: https://alzfdn.org/memory-screening/find-a-site
During the month of November and all throughout the year, being aware of the signs of Alzheimer’s disease and joining in the fight against it is something we all can do.
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