Caring for someone with dementia in the home is likely to be more challenging when there is clutter. Find out why, and how to organize the residence to help your loved one using this guide.
The Problems with Clutter
Being surrounded by an abundance of possessions is overwhelming for most people, but often even more so for those who have dementia. Too much stimuli can make focusing on a task difficult and remembering the sequence of activities.
Furthermore, clutter makes finding an item more difficult. Not only is that frustrating, but it also adds more confusion to the loved one’s mental state.
Living areas can become unsafe too when several things occupy a space. It can become a health risk over time, especially for those with dementia who begin hoarding to achieve a sense of control.
How to Address Clutter
Your loved one likely has an emotional connection with the clutter. They may not be able to distinguish between what to keep and what to toss. For example, they might assign a high value to something like an empty cardboard box.
Thus, decluttering can be extremely upsetting for the individual. Our organizers understand this point well and, therefore, our focus is on clearing away what compromises the person’s safety or health. For instance, removing items close to the stove that pose a fire hazard and throwing out spoiled food in the fridge.
We can also facilitate the process of removing clutter from home as soon as possible. Otherwise, someone with dementia is likely to rummage through the garbage and bring back items into the house.
If they like sorting items, we can help them fulfill their need to be productive. One example is sorting a drawer full of socks.
More Organizational Tips
For those things that the person with dementia is likely to misplace, consider getting extras of them. Reading glasses are a common example.
Also, we suggest clearing possessions from places in the home that are tripping hazards. Stairs, the living room, and the hallway are areas where the person likely spends a lot of time. Thus, removing items from the floors in these areas is important.
Our friendly organizer can help you move furniture from these places to other parts of the house where they will not compromise safety. We can also help with identifying and removing hiding spots if your loved ones are hoarding.
Supporting People with Dementia
Whenever helping with organizing the home of someone with dementia, we always keep in mind their lifestyle, habits, and abilities. We use visualization tools to help your loved one stay organized too after we leave.
That means that the items that remain in the house are in clear view of the person living there. We can assist with labeling the possessions, too, so that locating them is not an issue.
They might not want things like family heirlooms stored away. In this case, we can help you find places where they are still easy for the individual to see them at home.
Find out more about our services specifically for those with dementia by reaching out to us today.