Enjoying DIY and home improvements, whether you have dementia or not

We hear how people benefit from DIY and improving their home.

Kerry Allan, East Yorkshire

I enjoy upscaling existing furniture and fittings rather than completely replacing things that are still in good condition.

For example, I have a chair that my cat scratched the arm on but the chair itself was perfectly fine, so I covered the damaged arm with embroidered flowers and now it looks much better.

I feel I have put my stamp on my home instead of someone else’s style.

Gill Lewis, Cheshire

I enjoy the before and after of doing a room up, improving the flow, atmosphere and purpose of a room, and it enables me to relax in the evenings when my jobs are done.

It keeps me organised, busy and purposed, calms me when the house is tidy and neat.

DIY tools around a sink. Image from FreeImages.com/Polka Dot Images

Keith Gibbs, Tyne and Wear

I do painting, varnishing, wallpapering and basic carpentry as and when I find time.

I get some satisfaction from the results, even if they may not be to professional standard.

I can put my own stamp on decorating details, eg designs on doors.

I try to recycle or upcycle items of furniture, use odd bits of timber for shelves, and feel I am making use of  material that would otherwise have gone to landfill.

Steve Belcher, Bristol

I like to style my home with art from TV shows or stars of the past – I’ve art of Mrs Slocombe, Victoria Wood, June Whitfield etc.

I have long-term health issues which mean I can no longer work.

So, once I bought a new apartment, I decided I wanted to decorate and style it with things that make me happy from my youth.

I get great pleasure from searching online for items, and it makes me feel happy, nostalgic and relaxed in my home when my health is bad.

Rebecca Morris, Conwy

I like to refresh areas and make them a focal point. It changes the look of the room, it doesn’t cost much and it’s easy to do.

So, I might clear a shelf and add a pretty candle, or swap around my photos in frames so I’m seeing a different picture, or even buy a new plant.

I like to change the look every season.

I send a picture to my dad for feedback – as I live far away, it’s nice he can see a part of my home.

Liz Gibson, Dumfries and Galloway

My husband and I have renovated a stone cottage and learned a lot of different skills while doing it.

We have exposed stone walls, learned to lime mortar, cut oak lintels and fully renovated the house and garden.

I keep fit from it and it gives great satisfaction – also a good night’s sleep.

Live well, stay well

Some things that affect your chance of developing dementia are things you can’t change, like your age and genes. 

However, you can keep your mind and body active, enjoy healthier food, not smoke, drink less alcohol, stay in touch with people and deal with any health problems. If you already have dementia, the same things can help you to stay well.

NHS Live Well has wellness advice for everyone.

Dementia together magazine

Dementia together magazine is for all Alzheimer's Society supporters and anyone affected by the condition.
Subscribe now
Dementia together magazine is for all Alzheimer's Society supporters and anyone affected by the condition.
Subscribe now