Dementia causes a variety of issues for those with the condition, including memory loss, ‘fuzzy’ thoughts, disorientation, struggling to follow conversations or instructions and mood and personality changes. High surveillance is needed in the bathroom in particular, however it is possible to create ‘dementia-friendly bathrooms’, using a person-centric approach to their design.
Here are the major dementia challenges that can be overcome with good design:
1) Preventing falls
Avoid sharp edges. Remove the bath and install a level access shower. Also consider installing underfloor heating, so there are no radiators to fall against.
2) Memory loss
Include flood-proof plugs in the basins and opt for showers such as AKW’s iShower range that have an auto shut-off function.
3) Scalding protection
Include thermostatically controlled taps and showers and minimise exposed pipework. Use only low surface temperature radiators and towel rails.
4) Floor colour
A change in floor colour can be seen as a step up or down for someone with dementia, so consistent flooring shades are crucial.
5) Retro memory
Incorporate traditionally designed fixtures and fittings, such as cross-headed taps and a conventional toilet flush to help those with better longer-term memories.
6) Mirror confusion
Reflections can be disorientating, so include a roller blind above the sink, so the mirror can be covered when necessary.
7) Visual confusion
Contrasting colours can differentiate a grab bar from a wall and the toilet seat from the pan.
Once installed such dementia-friendly bathrooms ensure maximum safety and comfort, promoting superior quality of life and dignity.
Telephone: 01905 823298