5 Things in the Environment that Can Trigger Dementia Symptoms

5 Environmental Factors that Affect Dementia

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Scientists have identified several environmental factors that can scare, irritate, and upset seniors with dementia. While there’s no cure for this debilitating condition, experts recommend carefully controlling the following environmental factors to help your senior loved one with dementia feel more peaceful. 

1. Lights

Many older adults who have dementia are frightened of shadows, so they tend to do better in environments with plenty of light. Install as many lights as possible in the home to minimize shadows. Seniors with dementia may also be disturbed by swirling lights, such as those caused by the sun’s rays bouncing off objects outside, so closing window blinds and curtains can help. 

Since many seniors don’t see well, photos hanging on walls can also scare them, so consider removing photos or turning them toward the wall. Cover mirrors if your loved one becomes frightened by his or her reflection. 

Caring for senior loved ones can be challenging for families who don’t have expertise or professional training in home care, but this challenge doesn’t have to be faced alone. Family caregivers can turn to Assisting Hands Home Care for the help they need. We provide high-quality in-home care as well as comprehensive Alzheimer’s, dementia, stroke, and Parkinson’s care.

2. Noise

Noise is often a major trigger for aging adults with dementia, and some seniors living with dementia become hypersensitive to any sound at all. Your loved one may even interpret what he or she hears as something totally different from the actual sound. For example, while watching a TV show, he or she may hear a dentist’s drill. 

To minimize your loved one’s sound-related discomfort, consider limiting the number of people allowed in the house at any given time. Also try to eliminate as many loud noises as possible from the environment. 

3. Privacy

Bath time can be challenging for caregivers who are taking care of seniors with dementia. While assisting your loved one with bathing may be a necessary invasion of his or her privacy, there are several things you can do to make bath time more comfortable. 

Make sure all the supplies you need are within easy reach when helping your loved one bathe. Consider installing a handheld showerhead nozzle because it’s easier to direct the water. Use a calm, reassuring voice, and give simple directions. 

If your senior loved one has been diagnosed with a serious condition and needs help with tasks like meal prep, transportation, bathing, and grooming, reach out to Assisting Hands Home Care, a leading provider of Home Care Columbia, MD, families can trust. We also offer comprehensive care for seniors with dementia, Alzheimer’s, and Parkinson’s.

4. Disorganized Spaces

Special hooks, storage baskets, and bins are great tools for helping your loved one stay organized. Create a special safe place in the home where your loved one can spend his or her days involved in an enjoyable hobby without getting hurt. Eliminate as much clutter as possible around the house. 

5. Room Temperature

Many aging adults become more agitated when they feel too hot or too cold, and seniors with dementia often have a difficult time controlling their body temperature. Install personal heaters and fans with large buttons in the rooms where your loved one spends the majority of his or her time. If your parent is still able to operate the home’s thermostat, make the off and on switches more visible. If not, consider covering the thermostat with a childproof cover.

If your loved one has been diagnosed with dementia, controlling these environmental factors may help him or her feel calmer and more peaceful. Aging in place can present a few challenges for seniors living with dementia. However, they can still live independently at home with the help of professional dementia care. Columbia families can rely on Assisting Hands Home Care to provide their elderly loved ones with mental and social stimulation, timely medication reminders, assistance with meal prep, and much more. Our caregivers are available around the clock to help your loved one live a happier and healthier life. For more information about our flexible, customizable home care plans, call one of our compassionate Care Managers today at 443-233-1245.