Persons living with dementia may face challenges navigating the physical environment, due to loss of orientation, sensory acuity, visual-spatial awareness, and mobility. Changes in their sensory system may reduce their tolerance towards environmental stimuli, such as sound levels, lighting, activity and people. For some persons living with dementia, the lack of sensory stimulation and occupational deprivation results in ill-being, leading to loss of self-worth and self-identity.
Experience Dementia in Singapore is a Virtual Reality (VR) application which provides you with the perspective of a person living with dementia. Step into the shoes of the person living with dementia to experience the challenges faced in a typical apartment in Singapore, and consider how we can modify the environment to support the well-being of the person living with dementia at home.
A dementia-friendly home aims to enable persons living with dementia to maintain their independence in performing everyday activities such as eating, going to the toilet, bathing, and continuing their hobbies in a meaningful way. Where possible the person living with dementia should be supported to engage in activities outdoors.
List of Resources for the Homes of Persons Living with Dementia
360° Virtual Reality Dementia-Friendly HDB Home Design Guide
The 360° Virtual Reality Dementia-Friendly HDB Home Design Guide is a resource developed by Agency for Integrated Care and Dementia Singapore, for persons living with dementia and their families, and care professionals in Singapore. It provides a range of proposed modifications to create a dementia-friendly home that is more accessible, comfortable and safer for persons living with dementia.
For the best viewing and user experience on this virtual reality guide, it is recommended to access it using a desktop.
Care partner Michelle talks about some modifications she has made to make her home more comfortable for her dad Thomas. This video introduces the localised virtual reality home design guide for caregivers, to make their home more dementia-friendly for their loved one, by design.
HACK CARE by LIEN Foundation is a catalogue of more than 240 pages of ideas to make a home a friendlier environment for persons living with dementia and their families. It assembles practical hacks, surprising ideas, and simple tips and tricks to simplify a caregiver’s life as they cope with the daily challenges of caregiving, while transforming them into meaningful and enriching moments.
How to Design a Dementia-Friendly Home
As Told By An Expert
Ms Koh Hwan Jing – Director of Community Enablement at Dementia Singapore – offers some practical tips on how caregivers can design a home that is safe and appropriate for your loved ones living with dementia in this excellent feature piece by Qanvast.
Image Source: Quanvast
Making Your Home Dementia-Friendly
The Alzheimer’s Society in the United Kingdom has developed a booklet which describes some of the ways to create a more dementia-inclusive home, to support persons living with dementia and their families.
The booklet comprises multiple sections, where each section covers a different aspect of living at home. Some of the tips offered by this booklet, may require help and support from care professionals as well. The sections include:
• Furniture and furnishings
• Eating and drinking
• Using the bathroom
• Knowing where things are
• Keeping things in order
• Keeping safe
The booklet contains a checklist that recommends some changes individuals can implement to make their homes more dementia-inclusive.
Safety In and Around the Home
This resource by Dementia Australia contains tips on how friends, family, and caregivers of persons living with dementia, can improve the safety of the physical environment in and around the home.
The page comprises a simple safety checklist for individuals to assess their homes for any safety hazards.
Guidelines on Dementia-Friendly Environments
These resources by the Social Care Institute for Excellence in the United Kingdom, contain information on how the physical environments of various aspects in and around a home can be designed to be more dementia-inclusive, such as:
• Kitchen and dining areas
• Toilets and bathrooms
• Assistive technology
• Noise levels