What You Need to Know About Clutter and Dementia

What You Need to Know About Clutter and Dementia
An older woman holds a photo album and a cup of coffee as she gazes out the window, experiencing some of the benefits linked to controlled clutter and dementia.

Clutter and dementia may seem like an unhealthy combination, but research is showing some surprising benefits between the two.

Decluttering is a vital component to safety for individuals with dementia, particularly in ensuring walking paths are clear to prevent falls. However, there may be some surprising benefits to controlled clutter, according to a study by the University of East Anglia that explored the link between clutter and dementia.

Researchers tested the functioning of older adults with varying degrees of dementia in two different settings. The participants in the study were instructed to complete a task, like making a simple meal or a cup of tea, in both their own home with surrounding clutter, and in a clutter-free testing site.

The speculation was that by removing distractions, participants would be better able to focus on the task at hand. But, especially in the case of those with moderate dementia, performance was higher when they were in the midst of their familiar clutter. Julieta Camino, of the UEA’s School of Health Sciences, explained, “Challenging assumptions is so important for carers to understand how to help someone with dementia to live well in their environment.”

Professor Eneida Mioshi added what we at Hired Hands Homecare also know firsthand to be true: that most older adults, including those with dementia, want to remain living at home as long as possible. Providing the right level of support that improves both safety and independence is crucial, and we’re pleased to provide the customized care that helps make living at home for a lifetime a reality.

At Hired Hands Homecare, we’re well aware of the comfort to be found in what is familiar. Being able to enjoy a cup of coffee each morning on the front porch, being surrounded by treasured mementos in each room, curling up underneath a beloved quilt at the end of the day, and so many more benefits are inherent to continuing to live at home throughout aging.

Our caregivers are trained and experienced in helping those with dementia stay safe and continue to be independent at home as the disease progresses, offering peace of mind to both the individuals they serve and those who love them. We offer a safety assessment of the home to make sure dangerous clutter and other fall risks are removed, while allowing older adults to continue to enjoy all of the familiar items that trigger memories and provide opportunities for reminiscing.

Contact our dementia care team at (866) 940-4343 for a free in-home consultation to find out how we can help someone you love in Novato, Pleasanton, Santa Rosa, and the surrounding areas.

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Want to find out more about our senior care in California and how it can improve safety, comfort, and independence at home? Contact us at (866) 940-4343 to request a free in-home consultation to learn more about our customized care solutions in Novato, Pleasanton, Santa Rosa, Napa, Sonoma, and the surrounding areas.

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