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Affordable help for dementia sufferers via retro decorating

Date: Friday, August 26th 2011
Categories: All Leicestershire Other Services

The Guardian newspaper is reporting on a fascinating method to improve life for dementia sufferers today. 

Providers of care services for dementia patients have started using 'retro-decorating' a relatively inexpensive answer to reassuring confused patients.

For example, Surrey council has begun using retro-decorating in day services and care homes for adults with dementia.

Retro-decorating includes surrounding dementia sufferers with objects from the past to trigger their memory and replacing modern technologies with older versions.

Joelle Bevington, adult social care manager at Surrey Council told the Guardian:

"We paint the toilet doors red because that's a colour that is used in lots of other outside organisations for their toilet doors. We put up posters in the kitchens and old Bisto adverts or old coffee and tea adverts so that people know what they'll find in the cupboards. We also use products such as Pears soap because it's an emotive smell that people recognise from when they were younger and helps remind people to wash their hands. Reminiscence tools like pictures and smells can help people remember to follow a basic routine."

There are around 570,000 people living with dementia in the UK.

Dementia causes the loss of short-term memory, which can cause distress and often anger in patients who become confused about who and where they are. By providing an environment which patients remember, either through the use of colour, design or objects, retro-decorating reassures and provides triggers to help people follow a daily routine.

The idea is also supported by the Alzheimer's Society

You can read the story in full on the Guardian website


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