Caregivers of memory loss patients may experience the heartbreak of watching their loved one lose their memory. In these situations, family caregivers often move a loved one suffering from memory loss into their own homes. When this transition occurs, considerations for accessibility and resources for help ensure a caregiver’s home is safe.
Memory Loss Appropriate Improvements
Many think of Alzheimer’s as a memory disease. While this is partly correct , it is also a neurological condition that can affect any function of the brain. These brain changes may require modications to the home to protect the health and safety of your loved one. Fortunately, easy changes can provide a safe, supportive and quality home life.
Simplifying the home by removing clutter can help those who might have trouble navigating through too many things. Consider installing handrails in bathrooms and clearing walkways in other high-traffic areas. In addition, installing an entrance ramp or widening doorways is sometimes helpful. Agencies such as Area Agency on Aging can offer a valuable resource to help with evaluating and making the home safe for your loved one. Fortunately, loans and grants may also be available from the Lions Club, Red Cross, and Department of Veterans Affairs to help cover the cost.
Some patients with Alzheimer’s have trouble walking. In fact, an irregular gait is sometimes a first warning sign of the disease. For these patients, it’s important to add non-slip rugs to prevent falls.
Those with memory loss can have other neurological deficiencies such as tendencies to become confused or being unable to properly perceive depth or temperature. This may result in the need for extra lighting in bathrooms and kitchens.
When it comes to cooking, sometimes it is best to keep appliances off-limits. There are several auto-shutoff options for stoves and other potentially dangerous appliances when this is not possible.
Are you worried about your senior loved one leaving your property? Consider installing door and window alarms. For more extreme measures, installing a fence around the perimeter of your property can act as a last line of defense against an escape. When researching the “best fence company near me,” always consider customer testimonials and ratings.
Avoid Caregiver Burnout
Caregiver burnout is a serious affliction for those living with Alzheimer’s patients. Since the disease is progressive, the demands placed on caregivers exponentially increase over time. Caregivers can sometimes miss the life before the loved one moved in. They can sometimes feel squeezed out by near-constant monitoring and care.
Caregiver burnout begins with feelings of frustration that and can lead to despair and isolation as the disease progresses. Many caregivers trade in their social lives for the person requiring care. While this sacrifice may seem dutiful and honorable, it can destroy the caregiver mentally and physically.
Finding Extra Help When Needed
To help avoid caregiver burnout, consider using alternative service providers such as a respite facility, day center or a local in-home care agency. These resources are valuable when the loved one may consistently refuse instructions and guidance from their child. In addition, if your loved one can no longer be left alone for any amount of time, these providers can offer in-home or out of home companionship. They can also help with various tasks such as daily hygiene and mental stimulation. Finally, when living with your loved one is no longer proper, consider evaluating a compassionate and caring community like Ascension Health Homes for long term care. These providers can be a lifeline for family caregivers and can play an important role in your loved one’s overall care and most importantly, their quality of life.
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