From lighting and noise to creating functional spaces, a new book provides tips for people with dementia and their carers living at home.

My home, my life draws on the experiences of people with dementia and the latest research to provide advice on meeting everyday challenges such as travel, sleep and changed behaviours.

Director of the Dementia Centre Associate Professor Colm Cunningham said a few practical changes can make a world of difference after a formal diagnosis of dementia.

“Living at home is the preferred option for most people and already 70 per cent of people with dementia live in their own homes,” he said. “Over time this will require some changes in people’s day-to-day routine. We want to help people get started on the right foot with some simple tips.”

The practical resource has been authored by Associate Professor Cunningham, the head of Hammond College Natalie Duggan and dementia activist Agnes Houston.

Ms Houston, who was diagnosed with early onset dementia in 2006, highlights the disorienting sensory changes that can occur with dementia.

Using personal devices to set appointment or medication reminders, labelling cupboards, using signs to identify the bathroom, and creating a dementia-friendly outdoor spaces are some of the tips outlined by the authors.

Other topics canvassed include care and communication, food and nutrition and responding to emergencies.

A series of real-life stories are included in the book to demonstrate how others have worked out solutions and strategies to common challenges.

The authors are also encouraging people with dementia and their carers to send in their practical tips for possible inclusion in future editions of the resource.

My home, my life was launched at the International Dementia Conference in Sydney last week.

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