Home environment and dementia

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When caring for people with dementia, it is necessary to make certain modifications, without any changes being too drastic in terms of decor, as otherwise they may become confused and disoriented until they no longer identify with their surroundings and feel out of place in their own home.

People with dementia can be particularly sensitive to their immediate surroundings. The environment should be simple and safe, and help stimulate the person’s autonomy. Adaptations should be made gradually, in line with the person’s needs.

To help someone not become disoriented, it is a good idea to indicate each room using a drawing or suitable words on the door (e.g. bathroom, with a picture of a bathtub or a toilet, a sign saying dining room, etc.).

Creating pleasant surroundings will help facilitate the personal autonomy of someone with dementia, and will make life more pleasant not just for him

Recommendations in the kitchen

The kitchen can be one of the most dangerous rooms in the house. The following guidelines are therefore advisable:

  • Use unbreakable plates, bowls and glasses, in different colours to make them easy to identify, and with non-slip tablecloths
  • Keep all sharp or dangerous objects (knives, matches, toxic products, etc.) in a safe place
  • Avoid the use of stools or step ladders
  • Use drawings or writing to indicate what is in each cupboard

Recommendations in the bathroom

The bathroom needs more modifications than other rooms to make it a place that is safe and which helps facilitate the person’s autonomy.

  • Replace the bathtub with a shower tray, install a seat with handles and lay non-slip flooring to prevent falls
  • The bathroom door should not have a latch. A better idea is a sliding door or a door that opens outwards
  • Do not allow the water temperature to rise above 37ºC, to prevent the risk of burns, and remember that a person with dementia may have impaired sensitivity
  • Cleaning products should be kept in a safe place

Recommendations in the bedroom

The bedroom is another place where falls can occur, due to poor lighting, obstacles or when moving around.

  • Fit light switches close to the bed, and keep a soft light on throughout the night to show the way to the bathroom
  • Use drawings or writing to indicate what is in each drawer
  • Remove rugs and any objects that could be an obstacle. Mirrors can be removed or covered over


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