Helping Loved Ones Decorate Their Memory Care Apartments
If your loved one has moved to a memory care apartment due to their dementia, helping them decorate their new home can be a great bonding experience. However, there are a few key ideas you should keep in mind when you’re helping out.
1. Familiar Settings Can Translate to a New Space
Your loved one has lived in their own home for a long time, and now downsizing and moving to an apartment where they can be cared for can be difficult. Familiar items are always a good way to help remind your loved one of good times, especially if these objects are easily recognizable and useful in their everyday lives. These significant pieces will make your loved one feel at home, and their environment will feel supportive rather than unfamiliar. Maybe the whole dining room table can’t be there, but what about a couple of the chairs?
2. Holiday Decorating Tips Will Keep the Holidays Merry and Bright
First, replace real candles with electric tealights. Real candles and open flames can be a risk for someone in a memory care apartment since they may not be able to exercise good judgment.
Also, some holiday decor looks like food good enough to eat. But someone struggling with Alzheimer’s may mistake these items for the real thing. These decorations, such as artificial gingerbread cookies or faux fruit, could become choking hazards or make them sick. So avoid these types of decorations.
Be sure to forego the twinkle lights in favor of lights that stay continuously lit. For someone with dementia or Alzheimer’s, the constant blinking can disorient or overstimulate.
Last, try decorating with calm colors, such as blues, greens, and browns. Brighter colors, such as reds and yellows, can be overstimulating for someone with dementia, so use them sparingly.
3. What About All Those Knickknacks?
Your loved one has lived quite a life, and they’ve picked up lots of memorabilia and treasures they may not have let go of. The good news is, they don’t have to let go of everything, and as we’ve seen, having these memories around creates a calming environment. But how to organize them all? And maybe you worry about your loved one dusting these treasures, scattered around the apartment, on bookshelves, and out on end tables. And what if these things are breakable?
One solution is to create shadow boxes. These hanging picture frames are designed to display little knickknacks and other items, as well as pictures. They’re thicker than picture frames so they can hold these larger items. You can make your own shadow boxes or buy them ready-made from various craft stores. Once you’ve made them, they can hang up on the walls, and your loved one doesn’t have to unpack these treasures to look at them. Plus, they won’t be in danger of breaking or need to be dusted every week.
Our Solterra memory care apartments in Phoenix are ready and waiting for your decorations. Contact us today to schedule a tour so we can find the right apartment for you or your loved one.