Discover how Alzheimer's caregivers or those caring for an elderly loved one can modify their home to accomodate their loved one's needs.
If you have decided to bring an elderly loved one into your home to care for, there are some special preparations that you can make ahead of time. Here is some expert-vetted guidance on making your home dementia-friendly, accessible and safe.
Welcome them in
Whatever the circumstance that brought your elderly loved one into your home, be sure to make them feel welcome. It can be a difficult transition to open up your home, but it is also difficult for them to leave their home and independence to move in with you. There are bound to be challenges ahead, and as a caregiver, you are making a great sacrifice. Be kind and patient, expressing compassion to your elderly loved one. If you are constantly treating them as if they are a burden, then you should consider other accommodations or living arrangements. Be empathetic towards your new roommate.
One of the most important preparations to make is adding safety modifications throughout your home. According to the American Family Physician, falls are the leading cause of injury among the elderly. There are several ways to help prevent a fall in your home by focusing on safety, accessibility and convenience.
To create a safe environment, remove tripping hazards such as rugs and clutter, install handrails and a walk-in shower in the bathroom and arrange their bedroom to offer ample space to maneuver. To create an accessible environment, make sure that your hallways are clear and well-lit, and place frequently used kitchen items within easy reach. To create a convenient environment, consider the layout of your home and bedroom. Make sure that the bathroom and main living area are easily accessible from their bedroom to reduce travel throughout your home. With some simple home modifications, your home will become a safe and comfortable place for your elderly loved one.
Arrange for in-home care
Depending on the specific care needed and your schedule, you may want to consider arranging for a company to come into your home to offer additional care. They can provide services ranging from administering medicine, bathing, feeding and even providing companionship during the day. If you leave your home to work during the day or feel that you need extra help, this can be a great way to ensure your loved one is being cared for. The cost varies depending on the services you need, but there are also other ways to help pay for in-home care. Some providers and services are covered by Medicare, so do your research prior to hiring a company. The cost of an in-home care company is often less expensive than your loved one going to an assisted living facility.
If your loved one has Alzheimer’s, then there are some extra considerations you need to make regarding their care. According to the Fisher Center for Alzheimer’s Research Foundation, it is going to be stressful and challenging. You may begin to experience depression yourself, so care for yourself as well and surround yourself with the support that you need. Depending on the severity of their Alzheimer’s, they may require 24/7 care. This is another example of a time where you may want to consider hiring an in-home care company to help you.
Prepare your home for your elderly loved one by making modifications, hiring an in-home care service and taking care of your needs as a caregiver. It isn’t always an easy circumstance, but you will greatly benefit from taking good care of your loved one during the end of their life.