For a person with dementia, a house move may be a stressful event, even when their usual homecare services continue, and it may be necessary to think carefully about how to make them more comfortable in their new home. Here, we look at some things you may need to consider when purchasing furniture for them.
Dementia usually affects a person’s balance, and there may be a decrease in their physical strength and coordination. They may find it hard to sit themselves down gently and unable to get comfortable. There are a range of chairs which take these factors into consideration.
A recliner chair can be easily accessible for someone in the early stages of dementia as they will be physically able to operate it. They come as manually or electronically operated. Most have a handle on the side that is pulled to get into the recliner position and allow the legs to rise. With other ones, all that is needed to operate is by pushing back with the body against the back rest.
Riser recliner chairs
These types of chairs already have the backrest reclining and leg rest rising facility but also include a rise function which can help in sitting and standing. They are electronically operated by a handset that is attached to the chair. They also have a built-in safety feature if they detect anything under the chair (e.g. pets or children) and will trigger a stop.
It can become harder for a person with dementia to recognise their bedroom as all rooms may look the same to them. The doors in the house can be painted different colours to distinguish them from each other. A picture, a sign or even a photo on the door can help them realise this is their bedroom. Make sure that from the doorway not only the bed is visible but their personal belongings (familiar photographs, perfumes, lotions) are too, as this will reassure them again that this is their bedroom.
Community profiling beds
Dementia patients may suffer from reduced strength, mobility and balance issues. This will impact on their ability to safely get in and out of bed. A profiling bed can help with this and also allows them to adjust their position in bed. These are usually operated manually or electronically and can be adjusted to the needs of the dementia patient, if your elderly loved one has care at home, their carer would be able to help them with this. The mattress is made up of two sections which allows the bed to be positioned at different angles and heights.
This type of profiling bed allows the mattress to be lowered within inches of the floor so that the person can safely get out the bed without injuring themselves. A padded floor mat is also included which fits right next to the bed on the floor for the dementia patient to roll onto if necessary.
Wardrobes and chest of drawers
To help a dementia patient to be independent as possible, make sure that wardrobes and chest of drawers have clear viewing panels or an open viewing section making it easy to see what is inside. If this is however not possible, use signs and pictures to clearly label what is inside each section of the wardrobe and chest of drawers.
Considering some of these furniture arrangements may make your loved one’s house move easier and could aid them in getting used to their new surroundings.