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.”
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.