Try not to create a home that feels too restrictive. The home should encourage independence and social interaction.
Provide reality orientation cues to help reduce confusion such as calendars that have clear, simple information with one day per page: digital clocks that show am and pm; a blackboard or message board for reminders; and daily activities lists.
Do not rearrange furniture and keep familiar objects around and in place.
Keep a current picture of the person for ID purposes.
Check for tight or constricting clothing. Discomfort may cause acting out or behavior changes.
Label rooms and objects with large signs, especially the bathroom.
Add extra lights to entries, doorways, stairways, areas between rooms, and bathrooms.
Use night lights in hallways, bedrooms and bathrooms to prevent accidents and reduce disorientation.
Cover doors and locks with a painted mural or cloth. Use "Dutch" (half) doors, swinging doors or folding doors to hide entrances to the kitchen, stairwell, workroom and storage areas.
Make space for activities.
Be patient. If wants and needs cannot be expressed, pay attention to body language.
If finding or using the toilet is a problem, using a contrasting color toilet seat helps the cognitively impaired individual “see” the toilet.
Depth perception is often diminished; using color identifies objects such as sofas and chairs, or change in flooring levels.
Recognizing the need for the way you communicate and implementing these approaches will allow for less chaos, behavior and frustration.
Use Yes/No questions and avoid choices and open-ended questions.
Avoid lengthy explanations. Give short, simple explanations.
Never argue or power struggle.
Avoid giving more than 1 task at a time.
A low pitched, slow, measured tone of voice will help reassure the person.
Speak slowly and clearly.
Be concrete and specific.
Be patient. Give the person time to respond.
Keep a calm, accepting, and open affect.
Long-term memory is often intact, so encourage reminiscing.
Try to interpret the feelings the person is try to express rather than the content. Pay attention to body language.
Avoid treating the person like an infant.
Do not directly challenge delusions or fantasies, but cast doubt. For example, “you may think you are in France, but this is the United States.”
Consistently re-orient the person to person, place and time.
Avoid frustrating or confusing topics.ccTry to change the subject.
Be aware of your body language and consciously slow down and relax.