How to Paint a House to Make it Safer for Parents with Dementia

If you have a parent with dementia moving into your family home or you simply want to renovate their home, safety is one of the most important things to keep in mind. One way to make a home safer is to repaint is; here are 2 repainting tips to keep in mind before you call in a residential painting service.

Create Contrast

One good way to help your parent navigate is to create greater contrast between walls and furnishings. This is especially important when your parent suffers from vision problems alongside dementia. Contrast makes furnishings easier to see, reducing the chances of bumping into things and making it easier for your parent to live life comfortably. The easiest way to create contrast is to repaint rooms in colours that contrast with the furnishings. For example, if your furniture is white, opt for a darker wall colour like navy blue. Darker colours tend to work best in bathrooms too, as plumbing fixtures are usually white. If you have dark wood furnishings, paler colours like pastel blue are best. Remember to use a contrasting colour (hue) where possible as well as a contrasting tone, as those with dementia can struggle to differentiate between similar colours.

One thing to keep in mind, however, is that it's best not to create contrast in areas you don't want your parent to go to. If there are cupboards that could be dangerous for them, for example, painting the wall they're on in a similar colour could reduce the chances of your parent trying to access the cupboards.

Vary Colours

Another way you can repaint the house to make things easier for a parent with dementia is to use different colours for different rooms. This can help them quickly distinguish which room they're in at any one time. The same goes for doors. Painting doors different colours can help your parent find the room they need at any given time. This is a good idea for rooms that may need to be reached in a hurry, such as the bathroom. If all the doors in your house are white, painting the bathroom door a strong colour lets your parent know where to go without having to stop and think about which door might lead to the toilet.

Reduce Glare

Glare can be another problem for parents with dementia, especially in rooms with light wall colours. Shiny walls can reflect sunlight, making it difficult for people with vision issues to see accurately. Some people also find that rooms with less glare are more calming. Luckily, it's easy to reduce glare. Simply opt for flat or matte paint over gloss. These paints have a less reflective texture, so less sunlight bounces off them. Eggshell and satin paints are also less shiny than gloss, though they're more shiny than matte.