As our loved ones begin to forget little details like where they live, their friends’ names, and the names of family members, it can be very difficult to decide how to decorate their new memory care room. We don’t want to hurt their feelings or make them feel worse by removing all of the things they love; we also don’t want to see them get confused by their surroundings or become too anxious over what they can’t remember. It’s important to create a fun and inviting memory care room that can make your senior parents feel at home, surrounded by the people and things they love the most. The following tips will help you create such an environment while staying within your facility’s budget and guidelines.
What’s Included in Memory Care Rooms and Facilities
Memory care rooms are made with the person’s needs in mind. They are often larger than a typical hospital room and have less decoration. Memory care facilities make their rooms and hallways as safe as possible by removing tripping hazards, making doorways wider and installing handrails on stairs. Memory care patients may be more susceptible to wandering, so safety measures should always be taken when they are outside of their rooms.
- Add Natural Lighting
- Choose Color Contrasting Furniture
- Add Sentimental Home Décor
- Create the Snoezelen Experience
- Provide Fidgeting Items
Add Natural Lighting
Lighting can be a great way to improve moods and make spaces feel more comfortable. When it comes to lighting in a home with residents with dementia, natural light is best. Bright and direct sunlight can be too much for residents who are sensitive or those who have Alzheimer’s disease and dementia. A good rule of thumb is that you want windows that face east, southeast, southwest, or west. The best time of day is morning when the sun is not at its brightest but still provides plenty of natural light (if your facility allows). If you don’t have any rooms facing this direction, then consider adding skylights or ceiling lights with dimmer switches to provide the most natural feeling. Be mindful of glare from window treatments like curtains as well – use heavier drapes on windows where there is likely to be glare during certain times of day so that they don’t create an overbearing feeling inside the space. Find out what materials work best with individual needs: Some people may prefer more muted tones while others might enjoy brighter colors. There’s no one-size-fits-all solution; know what works for each resident and take their preferences into account before making a final decision about color palette or fabrics. Consider calming smells: Natural fragrances like lavender can help bring about feelings of calmness and serenity which might be helpful for those suffering from anxiety, depression, etc.
Choose Color Contrasting Furniture
When it comes to the colors of your furniture, you want to make sure that you are using colors that contrast with each other well. It’s helpful if one of the colors is lighter than the other. There are many ways you can do this, but here are some ideas:
- Cream and red or pink
- Light green and blue or light brown and dark green
- White and navy blue or black -Yellow and purple
- Orange and dark gray
- Lime green and forest green or turquoise
Add Sentimental Home Décor
Pick out a color scheme
If your loved one has dementia, they may not be able to take care of their surroundings, but they can still make decisions about their personal space. Select a soothing color scheme for the walls and furniture that will create a calm environment.
Bring in pieces from home
Keep photos, paintings and family heirlooms on hand for when you visit or bring them on outings with you as much as possible so that your loved one is surrounded by the things that are most important to them.
Avoid clutter wherever possible
The more cluttered an environment is, the harder it is for someone with dementia to find what they need because their brain has difficulty processing visual stimuli like clutter and lack of organization in close proximity . One way to prevent this is by adding low-level lighting and keeping windows free from outside light pollution. Remember that people with dementia often have trouble interpreting colors, shapes and patterns. Picking calming colors throughout the room will help reduce stress levels for both visitors and your loved ones with Alzheimer’s Disease or other types of Dementia .
Create the Snoezelen Experience
The Snoezelen Experience is a therapeutic approach that uses multi-sensory stimulation. The goal of the experience is to help patients with dementia and Alzheimer’s Disease, but it also has many benefits for patients without cognitive impairments.
There are two major methods for creating the Snoezelen Experience: creating a space with different textures and shapes, or using sensory lights with changing colors. While there are many variations on how this experience can be created, the goal is always the same: create an environment that stimulates all five senses so that people with cognitive disabilities can enjoy their surroundings without feeling overwhelmed by stimuli. There are many ways to create the Snoezelen Experience, depending on your needs and budget.
There are several websites available with information about the snoezelen experience, including instructions and photos detailing step-by-step instructions in assembling one of these environments.
Provide Fidgeting Items
Fidgeting items are great for those who have trouble sitting still for long periods of time. Often when people are in a nursing home or dementia unit, they feel restless and there is nothing they can do about it. They may try and get up from the chair, but they will be unsuccessful due to their condition. Many times, a fidgeting item might be all that is needed to keep them calm and focused on an activity. There are many different types of fidgeting items that you can choose from: fidgets, stress balls, table top games, puzzles, books (depending on their level of functioning), and coloring books. Fidgets- A fidget toy is any type of small object that can fit into one hand and does not make much noise when used. There are many different types of fidgets like squishiest, spinner toys, textured squeeze toys, tactile objects etc.
Stress Balls- A stress ball is made with rubber or foam material so that it feels soft to touch. When squeezed, the user feels less stressed as this releases tension in their muscles.
The first step in designing a memory care room is gathering information about the person and their interests. Determine what type of lighting and colors are best for them. Adding family memorabilia is a great way to personalize the space and give it more of a home-like feel. Keep in mind that the person’s safety should be a priority when considering decorations, such as adding non-slip materials on the floor or using furniture that prevents falls. The last thing you want is for someone with Alzheimer’s or dementia to hurt themselves while living in your community. So here are some things to keep in mind: -The first step is determining how active they are before deciding how much furniture they need. If they like exploring, then allow them plenty of open space but provide areas where they can relax if needed. -It may also be beneficial to have a window seat where they can look outside at the scenery or read a book privately. In addition, consider installing lights above the bed so that if any wandering occurs at night time there will be enough light for an aide or caregiver to see better without having to turn on the lights and potentially waking up the resident who has wandered off into another room altogether!