The space around us can have a huge impact on mood, concentration, comfort, and safety. For the elderly, particularly those living with Alzheimer’s or dementia, a calming environment can make a huge difference. An environment that creates a state of calm and relaxation can reduce agitation and confusion. The following are three key things to consider when creating a calming environment for yourself or an elderly person you love.
1. Lighting – Since the elderly often struggle with sight, a well-lit room is essential to creating a calming environment. Provide as much natural light as possible, but when that is not possible use lighting fixtures with high wattage bulbs. Be careful where lamps and overhead lights are positioned to ensure even lighting across the space. Too intense light in one area or a dark, shadowy corner in another can be frightening. For people with poor sight, especially those with dementia, an ominous shadow can be mistaken for a reason to feel threatened, and therefore, lead to them feeling agitated and scared.
2. Noise – The sounds in a space can make or break the experience for an elderly person. Too much background noise can be very agitating, and it can make it impossible for them to hear anything clearly. The right kind of background noise can have the opposite effect, however. Soft relaxing music that they enjoy can discourage irritation from silence. Some noises cannot be stop or controlled, so soft furniture and décor can help absorb these kinds of noises to lessen their effects.
3. Decorations – Particularly for seniors living with dementia, how a room is decorated and furnished can really have an impact on how calm it is. Often mirrors are a bad choice, because for people with dementia they might see their reflection as a threat not recognizing themselves. This can be very distressing. When it is dark outside reflections from outside can be alarming. They can cause effects on the walls or through the windows that can appear like someone else is in the room or looking into the room. Curtains are key to avoiding this. Choosing the colors in the space can make a big impact as well. Contrasting colors can insure a person living with dementia does not get confused or lost.
These are only a few examples of things to consider when creating a relaxing space. For further support and assistance with caring for your elderly loved ones contact Freedom Home Care today. Freedom Home care offers a wide selection of services including in-home senior care. Freedom Homecare’s certified caregivers can further support you and your aging loved ones. Check out a full list of their services here.