These fascinating new images reveal how dementia can dramatically change the way people with dementia view their own homes.
The Canadian residential care company Amica Senior Lifestyles mockups were designed to help caregivers and loved ones understand the challenges of living with dementia.
However, the team warned that dementia is a very individual journey that can cause a range of cognitive effects and, as such, experiences will vary from person to person.
A series of comparison images show the ways dementia can dramatically change the way people with dementia view their own home. Pictured: How perceptual changes caused by neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s and dementia can affect a living space
DR PALMER’S SEVEN TIPS FOR CAREGIVERS
- Build a knowledge base on the challenges of dementia
- Learn its symptoms, like forgetfulness and hallucinations
- Create strategies for foster joy and minimize painful triggers
- Likewise, follow the activities that comfort vs those that cause anxiety
- Connect with other caregivers to help fight against fatigue and caregiver stress
- Talk to others about your challenges and your feelings
- Ask for help when you need a break to avoid burnout
Dementia is a global concern, but it is most often seen in wealthier countries, where people are more likely to live to a later age.
According to the Alzheimer’s Society, more than 850,000 people in the UK are living with dementia – a number expected to exceed 1.6 million by 2040.
The vast majority of people with dementia are aged 65 and over, although this can affect young people as well.
“It’s hard for us to imagine how the world might look and change for people with dementia,” said neuroscientist Heather Palmer, who is also a cognitive wellness advisor at Amica Senior Lifestyles and helped create the images. .
“However, it is important to understand that certain views and behaviors can impact or be indicative of a person with dementia. “
“Whether it’s noticing changes in behavior upon entering a room or neglecting plants, dementia can take many forms in a person’s lifestyle.
“But, through the use of a variety of tools, tools and approaches, people with dementia are still able to function well, if not better than before.
COGNITIVE EFFECTS IN THE GARDEN
As the comparison below shows, people with Alzheimer’s or other dementia often misplace items, having placed them in a place that seemed to make sense at the time, but not later when the items are needed.
While it can be confusing in mild cases, such as the stray pair of slippers in photos, it can also be dangerous – both the pair of pruners open on the sofa and the messy garden hose posing a hazard. for the safety.
These can be inherently riskier for some people with dementia, who will tend to pay less attention when moving around their surroundings, increasing the risk of them tripping, falling and / or injuring themselves on it. sharp objects.
Neurodegenerative diseases can also cause people to mix up their days and nights, for example, perceiving that it is the middle of the night in the face of outward signs that it is actually daytime – a confusion that can be. scary.
Finally, the flowers on the table are dead in the image on the right. Many people with dementia neglect to take care of their homes, plants, pets, and even themselves, and may not know what to do with the flowers after they die.
The Canadian residential care company Amica Senior Lifestyles mockups were designed to help caregivers and loved ones understand the challenges of living with dementia. In the photo: a garden (left) lived by a person with dementia (right). The items are in the wrong place, sometimes dangerous, the flowers are dead and have been left out, while the dark sky symbolizes the temporal confusion some patients with Alzheimer’s or dementia may suffer from
CHANGES IN PERCEPTION IN THE SHOW
This before-and-after image shows how a normal living space can seem terribly distorted to people with dementia.
The busy polka dot wallpaper ended up looking like a pattern of oversized ants crawling around, while the shadow under the table acquired a semblance of a black, bottomless void that the person with dementia might want to avoid.
Cognitive impairment can also lead to increased sensitivity to light – represented below by the blinding lamp – and other vision problems, including difficulty with distance and depth perception.
The latter, shown here as a distorted view of both windows, can also create hazards, such as when climbing stairs or trying to pour boiling water from a kettle to make a cup of tea.
“It’s hard for us to imagine how the world might look and change for people with dementia,” said neuroscientist Heather Palmer, who is also a cognitive wellness advisor at Amica Senior Lifestyles and helped create the images. . Pictured: A normal living room (left) can be altered by visual distortions in the mind of a person with dementia (right)
THE EFFECTS OF Dementia in the kitchen
As on the garden table, neglected flowers, potted plants, and moldy fruit appear in the image below and are joined by more stray items – in this case, lost glasses.
People with dementia also find it more difficult to break old habits and adjust to new routines. Here it is manifested by the putting out of the food of an animal which is no longer there.
Finally, kitchen plans illustrate how a coping strategy such as using reminder notes can be less effective than expected. Instead of sticking the notes in one place, a person with dementia can place them randomly above the house.
Additionally, people with dementia may also have difficulty deciphering their own handwriting, making once-useful reminders in the form of a random collection of letters that no longer make sense.
According to the Alzheimer’s Society, more than 920,000 people in the UK are living with dementia – a number expected to exceed one million by 2024. Pictured: A kitchen (left) could end up in a person with dementia. , with misplaced items and unintelligible reminders strewn all over the place, neglected dead plants and moldy fruit as well as dog food that has been distributed for a pet that is no longer present
WHAT IS DEMENTIA? THE KILLING DISEASE THAT ROBS SUFFER FROM THEIR MEMORIES
Dementia is an umbrella term used to describe a range of neurological disorders
A GLOBAL CONCERN
Dementia is an umbrella term used to describe a range of progressive neurological disorders (those affecting the brain) that impact memory, thinking, and behavior.
There are many types of dementia, of which Alzheimer’s disease is the most common.
Some people can have a combination of types of dementia.
Regardless of the type diagnosed, each person will experience their dementia in their own way.
Dementia is a global concern, but it is most often seen in wealthier countries, where people are likely to live very old.
HOW MANY PEOPLE ARE AFFECTED?
The Alzheimer’s Society reports that there are more than 850,000 people with dementia in the UK today, including over 500,000 with Alzheimer’s disease.
It is estimated that the number of people living with dementia in the UK by 2025 will grow to over one million.
In the United States, it is estimated that there are 5.5 million people with Alzheimer’s disease. A similar percentage increase is expected in the coming years.
As a person’s age increases, the risk of developing dementia also increases.
Diagnosis rates are improving, but it is believed that many people with dementia still go undiagnosed.
Is there a cure?
There is currently no cure for dementia.
But newer drugs can slow its progression and the earlier it is detected, the more effective the treatments.
Source: Alzheimer Society