According to the Alzheimer’s Society , 70 per cent of people in care homes have dementia or severe memo- ry problems in the UK. Here Stuart Reynolds, Head of Product and Marketing at AKW discusses how thinking about the flooring can make a bathroom more dementia friendly.
Not surprisingly, people with dementia are twice as likely to fall and these falls result in significantly higher mortality rates than for others in the same age group. The bathroom is one of the most challenging and dangerous places for a person with dementia. However, even thinking about some- thing as the choice of a bathroom’s flooring can help reduce fall risks.
FLOOR COLOUR PERCEPTION
Consistent flooring shades are crucial as a person with dementia can interpret a change in floor colour as a step up or down, leading to trips or falls on a level surface. Avoid very dark colour flooring as this can be perceived as being a big hole, making the person suffering from dementia reluctant to step into the
bathroom. Also avoid shiny flooring as this can be perceived as being wet and flooring with a small pattern or a speckled effect, as this can be seen as having dirt flecks that the person with dementia may try and pick up, leading to the possibility of a fall.
Ultimately, ensure the floor is a single, light, uniform colour and choose a wet room solution rather than a level access tray, as the colour change from floor to tray could be seen as a step to someone with dementia. For the final word on flooring, make sure that anti-slip vinyl is used. A suitable example is AKW’s Safety
Flooring, as this provides the same level of slip resistance in both wet or dry conditions, regardless of whether the user is wearing shoes or barefoot and has been tested in a variety of high-risk conditions.
To find out more about creating dementia-friendly bathrooms, download AKW’s latest guide from www.akw-ltd.co.uk