Seating for dementia needs to offer security and safety for the user. An experience of security and safety in the chair will lead to a more relaxed sitting period. This will help them become more able to adjust to the support and care given. Having the right seating can help with providing the user with a sense of calm and serenity due to being comfortable and having a sense of control. By having this sense of calm from the right seating solution it will help with every part of the body feeling supported. This support given from the chair, feeling feedback from the chair and feeling their bodies feel safe will give a sense of knowing ‘where they are’ due to the secure feeling it gives, providing reassurance.
Specialist seating for those suffering from dementia is an invaluable tool in ensuring that all potential needs are met and unnecessary discomfort is not suffered. Whilst a dementia diagnosis may clarify some aspects of what is happening to you, a beloved family member, or a client, the disease manifests in a variety of ways in different people. As such, a one size fits all approach is unsuitable when trying to find a seating arrangement.
Bright colours can be very beneficial to people suffering from dementia as this can give them stimulation and help with sensory pathways. Due to the change in the altered perception of colour to those suffering with dementia, it is key to think about colour, suffers can be less able to distinguish between unsaturated colours such as pastels.
The use of colour contrasting can be used in different ways to assist with the design and ease of use of products. High contrasting colours can be used to draw attention to something important as this helps highlight this item, which will help with being able to find items. Low contrast colours can have the opposite effect if there are things you do not want residents or loved ones to be attracted to then using low contrasting colours can assist with this.
Dementia frequently causes balance issues which can result in the patient slumping to one side. This often leads to the development of more serious injuries and long-term pain from pressure sores and ligament damage. As such, specialist seating for dementia sufferers must provide the necessary support to prevent its users from slipping forward, leaning to one side, or putting unnecessary strain on joints or ligaments. Lateral back support is crucial and depending on the individual’s specific needs and progress of their illness can be minimal or extensive. As in the Careflex Hydroflex, postural requirements can and should be easily alterable; as the user’s condition changes the level and location of support needed alters.
Everyone needs support that not only suits their illness but their lifestyle. As such, it’s important to make sure that the chair used can properly fit the height and weight of the person using it. Seating for dementia sufferers need to distribute their body pressure over the biggest area and promote neutral joint positioning to ensure that comfort is maintained. There are also medical benefits to this approach including reduced risk of neuropathy and improved circulation. All these benefits can however only be achieved through ensuring that the user’s chair is built for their body type.
A variety of controls are available and depending on the level of cognitive function that the user has these can be used by them or the caregiver to control and adjust the chair. It is at times necessary to ensure that no one but the primary caregiver has access to these controls for the patient’s safety and as such seating for dementia sufferers can have controls which can only be accessed remotely by the caregiver.
Depending on the progress of the condition, someone may be using specialist seating for dementia periodically or frequently. As such it is important to pay attention to the materials used in the chair. Materials which permit little air circulation are more likely to cause an increase of temperature affecting the user’s body temperature which will lead to moisture build up and in time skin damage and potentially pressure sores and injuries. Specialist seating therefore has to be made from easy to clean and breathable materials in cases of extended use or incontinence.
With the right chair, the difficulties of dementia become somewhat reduced ensuring greater comfort for those suffering from it. Beautiful and practical designs are available to create a comforting and nurturing home environment as well as a safe place of care.
To view our products best suited to those with dementia: