Create a dementia-friendly home

Senior Home Care Brisbane

A dementia diagnosis comes with many challenges – one of which is how to make your house safe to ensure a better quality of life for a person with the disease.

Dementia Australia advises ‘’the fundamental purpose of a dementia-friendly home is to compensate for the effects of dementia and to support retained function and skills’’.

The national organisation has help sheets to assist you to know what changes can be effective in creating a dementia-friendly home.

Helpful tips include using large light switches that contrast with the wall; having plain, non-patterned carpet or tiles and furniture; using contrasting colours for floors, walls and furnishings to help identify them; placing frequently used items in the line of sight and at an accessible height; grouping common items together (eg tea, coffee, mugs, sugar); making rooms homely with family furniture, photos, books and memorabilia; and using whiteboards and calendar clocks for orientation and important reminders.

These tips below are courtesy of Dementia Australia at


* Remove trip hazards such as loose electrical cords or rugs, to allow sufficient space to move around.
* Remove clutter such as chairs, tables, clothes, shoes and rugs to ensure clear pathways.
* Install a smoke alarm.
* Install thermostat or hot water cut-off devices to regulate and monitor hot water temperature.
* Ensure drainage holes are clear and use anti-flood devices, such as for releasing excessive water in the bath.
* Use floor and fall detectors.


* Use block-out curtains or blinds to regulate sleeping patterns and prevent shadows on windows from trees and shrubs outside.
* If helpful, use labels to identify items in drawers and cupboards.
* Consider using contrasting top and bottom bed sheets, to assist with getting into bed.
* Ask a family member or friend to display a selection of daily clothing and shoes on a stand or a section of the wardrobe, to help decision-making and support independence.


* Consider warmer colour tones for floors and walls.
* Use contrasting colours to highlight items such as bath rails, door handles and toilet seats.
* Ensure the room temperature is comfortable.
* Use taps that are familiar and easy to use.
* Consider covering or removing mirrors. Dementia can cause some people to not recognise their reflection in the mirror or understand what a reflection is.


* Make the kitchen functional. Consider creating areas for cooking, preparation, washing, supplies and storage.
* Ensure there is sufficient bench space and lighting (such as overhead and under-cupboard lighting) to perform tasks.
* Use labels on cupboards or replace solid doors with transparent ones to view items easily. Use transparent canisters and label them.
* When replacing appliances, get ones with a similar design so they are familiar.
* Use taps that are familiar and easy to use.


* Arrange a quiet space to sit, relax or read with a sturdy table and raised comfortable chair that is easy to stand up from and sit in.
* Have games, jigsaw puzzles and photo albums available and set up areas for meaningful activities, favourite hobbies or pastimes.
* Use different textures and colours for sensory engagement such as knitted rugs and soft cushions.
* Keep table settings simple.
* Turn on lights or open curtains at meal times.
* Consider using contrasting colours for items in table settings (such as placemats, plates, tablecloths and glassware) to help identify them.
* Ensure plates are plain: it can be difficult to distinguish between a pattern on a plate and the food.
* Where needed, consider specialised cutlery and tableware developed to assist people during mealtimes.



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