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What equipment can improve the home of a person with dementia?

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What equipment can improve the home of a person with dementia?

Homes can be adapted to make daily life easier for people living with dementia and their caregivers. This includes using different types of equipment and improving the design and layout of the home.


As a person’s dementia progresses, they may find everyday tasks harder without the support of other people. For example:

  • they might forget where an item is usually kept

  • they might try to use objects or tools in the wrong way

  • they may forget how to complete certain activities, like making a cup of tea or getting dressed.

This can make living in their own home more challenging.

However, changes can be made to a person’s home to make it easier, safer and more comfortable. This can help them go about their daily routine with less assistance for as long as possible.

How can equipment help people with dementia?

Equipment doesn’t have to be expensive or complicated to be helpful. Even small, everyday items have been found to make a positive difference to people with dementia living in their own homes.

For example, products designed to help older people live well can also be very useful for people with dementia. These include mobility aids and equipment for maintaining continence. There are also many products designed specifically to address the needs of people with dementia, such as memory aids.

It is usually a good idea for the person to start using any new equipment as early as possible, so that they can get used to it being part of their daily routine.

Equipment to help with memory


There are a range of memory aids to help people remember important things.

  • Whiteboards are useful for writing lists and reminders.

  • Clocks with large faces are easier to read, and can display the date and the time of day.

  • Diaries and calendars are useful for keeping track of appointments and routines.

  • Equipment such as dosette boxes – boxes with a separate pill compartment for each day of the week – can help with taking medication. Dosette boxes are more suitable for people in the earlier and middle stages of dementia because the person needs to know what day of the week it is.

  • Automatic pill dispensers – which can be set in advance –may be more suitable for those with more advanced memory difficulties.


Equipment to help with household tasks


Specially designed kitchen equipment is available. This aims to make cooking easier and safer for people who have difficulties with movement and coordination. This includes:

  • a kettle tipper – a frame that allows hot water to be poured safely

  • grip extensions for controls on appliances like ovens and taps

  • timers set to remind people that they have food in the oven or on the stove

  • tray trolleys to transport items

  • signs to remind the person where cooking items are located

  • non-slip rubber gloves to make washing-up safer.

Other household tasks involve standing up for periods of time. To help make this more comfortable, people with dementia could use perching tools. These are special seats that allow people to sit while performing tasks like ironing and cleaning.

If the person forgets the order of certain tasks, a whiteboard, photographs or notes that show the steps needed for each task can also be useful.

Equipment to help with washing, bathing and using the toilet


There are many devices that can make the bathroom safer and easier to use. These include:

  • transfer benches, grab rails or bath steps for getting into and out of baths or showers

  • hoists that use pulleys to lower and raise a person into and out of a bath

  • bath seats and bath boards (which lie across the top of the bathtub, allowing a person to sit if that would be more comfortable for them).

  • long-handled sponges to use when bathing

  • safety plugs (to limit how much water can be filled into the bath).

Sometimes, it is not possible to adapt an existing bath. In these cases, a walk-in bath, shower or wet room can also be fitted.

There is equipment that can make going to the toilet easier. There are also tools that can help with incontinence. These include:

  • a raised toilet seat

  • grab rails near the toilet

  • commodes and bedpans

  • waterproof mattresses and pillows

  • pads and pull-up incontinence pants.


Equipment to help with walking and moving


There are lots of different types of equipment to help people keep mobile and independent. These include:

  • walking sticks, walking frames and wheelchairs

  • grab rails fitted throughout the home

  • ramps for wheelchairs

  • a stairlift (if staircases become difficult to use)

  • transfer aids to help people move from one place to another (for example, a transfer turntable, where a person sits or stands on a base which slowly turns)

  • hoists, pulleys and slings to raise or lower people from or into a bed or chair

  • moveable hoists to use throughout the house

  • riser-recliner chairs to help a person sit or stand

  • height-adjustable beds

  • bed hand blocks (which people can use to push themselves up in bed).


Equipment to help with eating and drinking


Dementia may affect a person’s coordination or swallowing and, as a result, their ability to eat and drink. The person may benefit from equipment such as:

  • cutlery with cushioned handles that are easier to grip

  • non-spill cups with large handles

  • one-way straws which do not let liquid travel back down

Some people with dementia may have difficulties eating and drinking due to visual problems, such as not ‘seeing’ items on the table because they are a similar color to the tablecloth.

Use cutlery, crockery and other tableware items in colors that contrast with each other. The color of the food can also have an effect – for instance light-coloured foods (such as mashed potatoes) on a light-coloured plate may not be very visible. A dark red plate could help in this situation.

If you want to learn more about rental options for your loved one struggling with Dementia, contact Campbell County Health’s Home Medical Resources department.

Home Medical Resources' staff here at CCH is committed to helping people live better lives by offering the best medical technology, supplies and service. Home Medical Resources also provides pickup and delivery service for most medical equipment. We take the time to ensure that when your equipment arrives, a staff member is available to assist with set-up, education and adjusting to the equipment. Contact us today at 307-688-6260.

  • Category: Home Medical Resources