Living With Dementia: 3 Things To Look For In Dementia-Friendly Assisted Living Facilities

27 January 2016
 Categories: , Articles

Dementia affects approximately 1 out every 7 Americana over the age of 70. Living with dementia is not easy, and more often than not, those with dementia require extra care. If you have a family member that is suffering from dementia, you may not have the time nor the tools necessary to provide the type of care that they require. In some instances, an assisted living facility may be the best option. When visiting facilities to determine which one may be best suited for your loved ones, you should keep an eye out on the layout of the facility. Even though the brochure may seem promising, it's crucial that the facility has these 3 features in order to cater to those with dementia.

Adjustable Furnitures and Adjusted and Colored Toilets

Those living with dementia are more prone to slip and fall accidents. In addition, these individuals may find that they will have reduced mobility. Getting up and about takes a lot more effort as their condition worsens. Because of this, the furnitures in their room, particularly their beds and chairs, need to be adjustable to match their height. This way, getting out of bed or getting up from a chair will not be an impossible task without help from others.

In addition to adjustable room furnitures, you need to take a good look at the bathrooms. Bathrooms at dementia-friendly assisted living facilities tend to be lowered. The toilets should ideally be at knee height, and should also be colored bright red, so they can be easily distinguished from the environment. 

Stable Handholds on Every Wall

As dementia progresses, the affected individual will experience increase difficulties in maintaining their center of balance. Maintaining proper posture also becomes relatively difficult. This is also one of the reasons why those who are affected with dementia are more likely to fall. It's common for those who are falling to reach out and grab ahold of anything that is within their vicinity. 

Because of this reason, stable handholds should be installed on each and every wall. This can help dampen injuries that may otherwise be sustained from a fall. There should be various handholds of varying distances from the floor installed onto the walls to accommodate the varying heights of those who are living in the facility. 

Non-slip Floors

On the same note, you should also pay attention to the type of floors that are installed in the facility. While hardwood floors or marble floors might look more attractive, they really are not practical for assisted living facilities. For one, these hard surfaces will only worsen the severity of the injuries that are sustained in the event of a fall. Also, these surfaces are slippery, which also increases the chances of falls.

Look for non-slip flooring. Carpet is a popular choice; however, many assisted living facilities will choose some type of rubber flooring, as it will reduce impact of falls; thus, reducing the severity of any injuries that may be sustained as a result. Non-slip flooring coupled with non-skid footwear can greatly reduce the chances of falls.


When choosing an assisted living facility for a loved one suffering from dementia, don't just take a look at what the brochure claims to offer. You definitely need to go to the facility in order to get a good idea on the type of environment that the facility can offer, and whether there are features in place to make the facility dementia-friendly. Although it's easy to overlook the small details, these details do matter a lot — especially to someone who is living with dementia. These details can have a profound and significant impact on their quality of living.