SEOUL, Feb.22 (Korea Bizwire) – The Seoul Metropolitan Government has published a guidebook with tips on slowing down the development of dementia or even preventing it by changing home environments.
Positive effects of the ideas discussed in the guidebook have been proven by adopting them in households that include a senior citizen with dementia. Changes in cognitive health were observed over a period of six months.
The guidebook contains ground rules, improvements that can be made in different spaces, and examples of households that adopted the practices.
According to the guidebook, room lighting should be bright, and electric switches and power outlets should contrast with the walls so that they can be recognized easily.
Pictures of labels should be posted on drawers to inform patients about their contents. Images are more helpful than text.
As dementia develops, there is a possibility that patients could be frightened by mirrors, and they might not recognize their own reflection. Covering the bathroom mirror with a blind could solve the problem while minimizing the inconvenience for other family members.
Important items such as keys, glasses, money and wallets should always be kept in the same place. A familiar object that contains good memories or a framed picture left in the same place could give a sense of emotional stability to dementia sufferers.
Objects that can be used in fun activities to help maintain cognitive abilities such as cards, books, puzzles and musical instruments should be placed in locations where they can be easily noticed.
A handrail should be installed in the bathroom, and a chair with a handle should be available for use when showering or bathing the patients. Sharp objects in the kitchen should be placed in the cabinets, and gas stoves should be changed to electric stoves.
The guidebooks are available at 25 district offices and the Dementia Support Center. The content of the books can also be viewed at the Seoul Metropolitan Government’s homepage (www.seoul.go.kr).
By Lina Jang (email@example.com)