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Aging in Place  /  December 22, 2021

Sudbury Home Repairs: Mirrors and Seniors With Dementia

seniors with dementia fears mirrors

Friends and family members who care for loved ones with dementia may take it upon themselves to provide home repairs for seniors with this condition and educate others about the nuances of dementia. They may find themselves frequently explaining that dementia is not one condition but several different, progressive forms.

According to the World Health Organization, more than 55 million people in the world currently live with dementia. If you’re a caregiver, you may notice over time that little things about your loved one’s condition still surprise you. Take, for example, his or her sudden fear of mirrors.

Why Seniors With Dementia Can Be Fearful of Mirrors

Early stages of dementia may seem like simple aging: Your loved one may lose track of time, forget conversations, and get lost more easily than before in places that should be familiar. As the condition progresses, you may notice the following signs and symptoms in your loved one:

  • Forgetting people’s names
  • Forgetting things that have just happened or acting with confusion
  • Having a hard time communicating
  • Experiencing behavioural and mood changes
  • Having trouble recognizing faces

If your loved one has advanced dementia, he or she may not recognize the stranger in the mirror as him- or herself. The reactions of panic, anger, and hostility to mirrors make complete sense when you consider that your loved one may be reacting to a sudden intruder. It would terrify you, too, to see a stranger in the bathroom who constantly watched you brush your teeth and wash your face!

You may even notice that your loved one is avoiding the bathroom and other favourite rooms altogether due to the mirrors within. Fortunately, there are several ways in which you can help minimize mirrors and other places, like darkened windows at nighttime, that could cause reflections within the house.

How To Help Your Senior Loved One With Dementia at Home

Repair services in Sudbury such as removing mirrors altogether may be a good choice for seniors who live alone, but if others live in the house, there are more actionable options to try. Consider the following three options when deciding what will work best for your senior loved one with dementia as well as the rest of the family — or caregivers — that may also reside in the house.

1. Remove Unnecessary Mirrors

If your senior loved one lives alone, it may be ideal to simply get rid of the mirrors. This may include bathroom mirrors, decorative wall mirrors, and other objects, such as curio cabinets with highly reflective glass, that would resemble mirrors in certain light conditions and send your loved one into a panic.

2. Use Curtain Rods To Cover Mirrors

This is a good option for seniors with dementia who live with other people. You can treat the mirror or reflective surface as you would a window by opening the curtains when you’re alone in the bathroom and making sure to close the curtains before your loved one enters the room.

3. Cover Mirrors With Blankets or Sheets

For a quick, budget-friendly fix to this situation, you may opt to cover your household’s mirrors with blankets. If you’re waiting for a handyman to help you remove mirrors or you don’t feel comfortable putting up a DIY curtain rod to cover the mirror, simply covering any reflective surfaces may hold you over in the meantime until you can call a professional to help.

Home Repairs for Seniors in Sudbury

Is your senior loved one with dementia showing uncertainty, panic, or anger when he or she glimpses his or her reflection? Let us help. Handyman Connection only employs professionals who have been working in their fields for at least a decade, and we are comfortable working with patients of all ages to improve their homes and their lives. Call us today to get a free estimate of your project and start planning!

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