Contrast. Contrast. Oh yeah, and Contrast.
As dementia progresses, depth perception (ability to judge distances between objects) worsens as well as contrast sensitivity (ability to detect differences in colors). This can result in misperceptions of the environment, difficulty locating objects, or inability to discern stairs and curbs. When possible, try to use contrasting colors such as a red toilet seat, a red placemat under a white plate, a dark-colored plate for mashed potatoes, chairs that contrast with the floor and/or wall, contrasting anti-slip tape at the edge of each stair, laying out colored clothes on white bedding, putting a colored towel down for white or light colored-clothing, placing a red non-skid mat at the bottom of a white shower or tub floor, etc. Also, try avoiding black rugs or tiling as the may be perceived as a black hole. These small changes can make a world of difference in your partner’s ability to navigate and function in their environment.