Do adjust your set! Why the position of your television can be critical for a dementia audience.

Choosing the right kind of programme for a loved one with dementia is key, but surprisingly, sometimes just changing the position of your television set can make a big difference.  

The most comfortable and natural way to view a television is to have the centre of the screen no higher than eye level and preferably a little lower, so avoid wall-mounted sets that require the viewer to maintain an upward gaze as this will be much more difficult for someone with dementia. 

Dementia can cause loss to peripheral sight and a preference for one eye over the other so experiment with the position of the television set to see what works best.  Begin by positioning it just slightly to the right and then move it gradually left until you find the spot that seems to hold their attention the most easily and naturally.

You could also try experimenting with adjusting the brightness and colour. Brains affected by dementia can benefit from stronger light and colour contrast. Make sure that there are no reflections, glares or shadows falling across the screen as this can also cause confusion and wherever possible place televisions against a plain wall away from household clutter. 

Lastly, apathy can be a common problem among people with later stage dementia and energy and engagement levels can fluctuate significantly throughout the day. Someone with dementia is more likely to enjoy television when they are rested and relaxed, so again, experiment with different times of the day to see what is most successful.