Tips for living at home with dementia

Additional home care packages will see 14,000 more Australians living at home for longer, so what can carers and families do to make sure home care works for them?  

Director of the Dementia Centre, Associate Professor Colm Cunningham said a few practical changes can make a world of difference after a formal diagnosis of dementia. 

“Living at home is the preferred option for most people and already 70 per cent of people with dementia live in their own homes,” A/Prof Cunningham said.

“Over time this will require some changes in people’s day-to-day routine. We want to help people get started on the right foot with some simple tips.

“Agnes Houston has also highlighted some of the lesser-known symptoms, such as changes to your five senses, which can be disorienting or alarming. The key is to be alert and adapt to new challenges as they develop.”

HammondCare’s tips for living at home with dementia are:

1. Use your personal devices – simple alarms on your phone will be a helpful reminder about appointments or when to take medications.

2. Signage – using signage in your own home might feel strange at first, but it can be a tremendous help for someone living with dementia. Labels on cupboards or signs to the bathroom are some examples.

3. Create outdoor space – if you have a yard, schedule time to go outside. Make the space dementia friendly with a seat with a back and arms visible from the doorway.

4. Have a bag packed – have a list of medications and dosages, clothes and items that might be comforting (like favourite foods or small items) packed and ready.

These tips come from a new book on living at home with dementia, which addresses challenges and opportunities for carers and people living with dementia.

Authored by A/Prof Colm Cunningham, Natalie Duggan and Agnes Houston, the book draws on Agnes’ lived experiences with dementia, after being diagnosed with Alzheimer’s in 2006.

The book, My home,​ my life: practical ideas for people with dementia and carers​ was launched at the International Dementia Conference in June.

To purchase the book, visit here