Disorientating effect of décor on dementia patients not understood by many
Most people are unaware that interior décor can confuse those with dementia.
Certain décor such as patterned and coloured carpets can cause dementia sufferers to become disorientated and unsettled.
A recent survey conducted by United Carpets and Beds asked the public how they would adapt a home to suit somebody who was suffering with dementia.
The results showed that almost a third of the public have no idea how to do this (30%), while a similar number would only think to address obvious hazards such as sharp corners and clutter (30.9%). Other findings included rearranging rooms and buying specialist furniture.
Only 7.5% said they would consider changing the interior décor of the home.
Richard Sim, Digital Manager at United Carpets and Beds, said: “It is a shock to a lot of people that flooring can affect people with dementia so much. Whilst people may be aware of some hazards such as wood flooring being slippery and therefore dangerous, there are many other aspects which can negatively affect them, make choosing the right carpet really important.”
Carpet is often recommended for both care homes and the homes of patient over wood flooring as it can prevent and cushion falls. However, the style and pattern must also be chosen carefully, as certain shapes and colours can confuse people with dementia.
It is known that patterns and flecks on a carpet can be perceived by some dementia sufferers as objects on the floor. Issues arise when patients attempt to pick them up, risking falls and general confusion. Dark areas on a carpet can also be mistaken for holes by people with certain degrees of dementia.
Gilly Craft, Director of Koubou interiors, added: “Obvious patterns that create a ‘barrier’ or ‘hole’ should be avoided. As long as the LRV (Light Reflective Value) between the colour of the wall and floor is correct, then the colour itself is not so important, although certain colours are preferred.”
Further considerations for flooring include using plain matte flooring and ensuring the floor colour contrasts with the walls.
The survey revealed that when faced with looking after someone with dementia, around one in eight would consider relocating to a care home in order to ensure the correct level of care.
Other tips on how to adapt interior décor to improve living conditions for dementia patients include good lighting, safety equipment, contrasting colours and using clear signage for reminders.
Read the full article here: www.unitedcarpetsandbeds.com/advice/research/wrong-carpet-harm-dementia-patients