Survey reveals lack of public awareness of disorientating effects of décor on dementia patients


A recent survey conducted by United Carpets and Beds has found that most people are unaware that interior décor can confuse people living with dementia.

The survey revealed that almost a third of the public had no idea how to adapt a home to suit somebody living with dementia, while a similar number (31%) would only think to address obvious hazards such as sharp corners and clutter.

Richard Sim, Digital Manager at United Carpets and Beds, said: “It is a shock to a lot of people that flooring can affect people with dementia so much. Whilst people may be aware of some hazards such as wood flooring being slippery and therefore dangerous, there are many other aspects which can negatively affect them, make choosing the right carpet really important.”

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While carpet is often recommended for care homes and homes, as it can prevent and cushion falls, the style and pattern must be chosen carefully, as certain shapes and colours can confuse people living with dementia.

It is known that patterns and flecks on a carpet can be perceived by some dementia sufferers as objects on the floor. Issues arise when patients attempt to pick them up, risking falls and general confusion. Dark areas on a carpet can also be mistaken for holes by people with certain degrees of dementia.

Gilly Craft, Director of Koubou interiors, added: “Obvious patterns that create a ‘barrier’ or ‘hole’ should be avoided. As long as the LRV (Light Reflective Value) between the colour of the wall and floor is correct, then the colour itself is not so important, although certain colours are preferred.”

Further considerations for flooring include using plain matte flooring and ensuring the floor colour contrasts with the walls.

The survey revealed that when faced with looking after someone with dementia, around one in eight would consider relocating to a care home in order to ensure the correct level of care.

Tags : Dementia CareInterior Design

The author Lee Peart


  1. Care home managers will tell you that having laminate flooring is more practical than having carpet in care homes, but if a care resident has a nasty fall, and they land quite hard on the floor, they’re going to land very hard and end up bleeding, resulting in far more damage than if care homes had just stuck to carpets. Never mind the fancy laminate flooring. It’s common sense. Care homes aren’t show homes. Hard shiny flooring can be slippy, can cause gliding, etc. Yes I realize that they’re easier to clean but there’s far more risks when having flooring compared to carpet. At least with carpet it looks comforting and you’d have a soft landing. Plus carpets help keep the heat in, in winter.

  2. I absolutely agree with MOI. He/she brings up very important points when considering how dangerous hard flooring is for care home residents. I’m shocked that the CQC and Department of Health and Social Care have allowed carpet’s to be removed from rooms in care homes. I understand they’re easier to clean, but they’re way more risky, and care home residents are way more likely to end up having falls, slipping over, skidding, etc, because of these floors. Health and Safety chiefs in charge of care homes in the UK need to be onto this while they can. I worry about residents falling on these hard floors. Not worth the risk.

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