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Making your bathroom more dementia-friendly

At Fine & Able, we don't just design for the body, we also design for the mind. This includes dementia.

When people think of dementia, most people think of memory loss. However, it also changes the way the brain interprets the world around us.

The way dementia affects people is about as unique as the person living with it. However, as an example, something like a puddle or dark doormat may be perceived as a hole in the ground by some people living with dementia, which can be very disconcerting.

Understanding these changes in senses and perception can help us to make spaces more dementia-friendly. Good design is a powerful tool to help people living with dementia to enjoy and use their homes more safely for as long as possible.

The team at Fine & Able are experts in creating beautiful spaces that support physical, sensory and cognitive impairments, such as the changes to eyesight and perception related to dementia.

It’s a common misconception that a dementia-friendly space will look clinical. This absolutely does not have to be the case. For example, this future-proofed bathroom includes many aspects of dementia-friendly design and shows how subtly our designers can blend these principles in.

A dementia-friendly bathroom in natural stone colour tiles and accents of muted blue storage

Here are a few broad dementia-friendly bathroom design principles.

  • Correct tone and contrast between surfaces plays a big role in defining key features in the bathroom, from light switches to toilet seats. We use a special piece of kit to test Light Reflectance Values (LRV) to get this right.
  • Reflection and shadows can be disconcerting as the brain can perceive them differently. Careful use of materials and positioning of lights and mirrors is important to prevent casting shadows in unhelpful places or causing confusing reflections.
  • Make things intuitive as possible. For example, keep clutter to a minimum and display just the most essential items needed for day-to-day tasks.
  • Keep things familiar. Where possible keeping layout and style as similar as possible when making upgrades to avoid confusion.
  • Make support easier to see. Our Glow grab rails come in multiple colours to create the tonal contrast to make them stand out.
  • Stick to plain colour schemes and avoid strong patterns.
  • Get the right space and support in place to move around with reduced mobility.

And many more. Our team are experts and here to help, so get in touch  if you or a loved one are living with dementia and need to make changes to your bathroom.