How the wrong carpet can confuse people living with dementia

A recent survey of 1,000 members of the British public, conducted by United Carpets and Beds, found that many people are unaware that interiors such as colourful and patterned flooring/carpets can confuse those living with dementia.

The survey also revealed that 31% of people believed that addressing obvious hazards around the home would be enough to ensure the patient was safe and comfortable. Thirty percent of people surveyed admitted they simply wouldn’t know what to do when it came to adaptations they would need to make to theirs or a loved-one’s home and 12% would leave it to professionals by arranging for their loved-one with dementia to be placed into a care home.

Only 7% of people surveyed said they would change the home’s interior décor for a loved-one with dementia.

Flooring can pose a big problem to people living with dementia. Patterns, colours and flecks in flooring or carpets can be confused with objects being on the floor, shiny floors can be confused for being wet or slippery and dark areas can be mistaken for holes in the ground, which can be particularly distressing and can heighten the risk of falls.

People living with dementia will be able to walk more confidently and safely over plain flooring or carpet. The colour of the floor, particularly on the stairs, should contrast with the walls and colours that might be confused with real things, such as blue looking like water and green looking like grass, should be avoided.

Good lighting throughout the home will also help reduce confusion and any rugs or mats should be removed to avoid the risk of tripping.

There should also be a contrast between furniture – choose furniture in bright colours so a person with dementia can easily identify it.

Information with thanks to United Carpets and Beds.