Throughout the many stages of life, “independence” can mean different things. There are major events, such as leaving our parents’ home or getting married, and less significant events, like completing a difficult task on our own. Then, as we age, staying as independent as possible becomes a priority, like being able to live safely and securely in your own home. This wish to grow older in place at home is usually the greatest desire for older adults, regardless of their condition of health or ability to function independently, even in the face of injuries, sickness or chronic health problems. And it’s why as family caregivers, we need to do everything we can to help aging loved ones maintain their independence.
Though the holiday season is normally a joyful time of high spirits, filled with visiting loved ones who are nearest and dearest, for seniors, it can be far from merry and bright. A combination of lost loved ones, health problems, memories of holidays past, and more can impact seniors with emotions of sadness and loneliness, and it can make including aging loved ones in holiday festivities challenging. Read more
The holidays are filled with parties, celebrations, and get-togethers. Yet for older adults, holiday outings call for a little extra planning, and sometimes, it’s challenging for family members to plan holiday activities for aging adults. Try these tips from the Chandler home care experts at Endeavor In Home Care to enjoy joyful activities with loved ones of all ages this holiday season. Read more
Of all the outcomes of Alzheimer’s disease or dementia, one of the most concerning is the individual’s tendency for wandering. The dangers of wandering with dementia may cause the older adult to become disoriented or lost. Wandering may possibly occur if the senior loved one is:
- Tending to a simple necessity such as trying to find a glass of water or visiting the bathroom
- Wanting to keep a familiar past routine such as planning to go to a job or shopping
- Trying to find someone or something
- Frightened, confused or overwhelmed
If you are caring for a loved one that is experiencing a form of dementia, it is important to keep the senior safe, and also to be certain that his/her needs are fulfilled in order to attempt to stop the desire to wander in the first place. Try the following dementia wandering prevention tips if a senior loved one in your care begins to show signs of wandering:
- Utilize any locks that are in place which the senior is not able to master, such as a sliding bolt lock above his/her range of vision, as well as alarms, even something as simple as placing a bell over doorknobs. It’s also a good idea to register the person for the Alzheimer’s Association’s Safe Return Program.
- Disguise exits by covering doors with curtains, positioning temporary folding barriers strategically around doorways, or even using wallpaper or paint to match the doors to the surrounding walls. You can even try placing “NO EXIT” signs on doors, which may sometimes dissuade people in the earlier stages of dementia from trying to exit.
- An additional hazard for individuals who wander is the elevated risk of falling. Examine each room of the home and take care of any tripping concerns, such as removing throw rugs, electrical cords, and any obstructions which may be blocking walkways, ensuring sufficient lighting is switched on, and utilizing gates at the very top and bottom of stairways.
It’s important to keep in mind that with guidance and direction, wandering is not necessarily a problem. Go for a walk outside with the senior anytime weather allows and the person is in the mood to be on the go, providing the additional benefit of fresh air, physical exercise, and quality time together.
For additional dementia wandering prevention tips, contact the dementia care specialists at Endeavor In Home Care. Our compassionate care team is available to provide respite care for families, assistance with personal care needs, and engaging activities to help your loved one remain active. Give us a call today at (480) 498-2324 to schedule a free in-home assessment and to learn about why we are one of the leading caregiver agencies in Phoenix, AZ and the surrounding areas.
If a loved one has recently been diagnosed with dementia, your top priority is probably his or her safety and wellbeing. The familiarity of being able to remain living in the comfort of their own home rather than face a move away to a facility is important, but how do you ensure continued safety and wellbeing as the disease progresses? One of the first things you can do to ensure a safer environment is to make a few adjustments around the house. It is possible to make the home dementia-friendly, which can encourage continued independence for the older adult you love.
For people with any type of dementia, consistency is key. This means assisting with visual and written cues and providing plenty of time and instructions, when needed, to help him or her perform tasks and maintain independence. By thinking through the tasks where assistance might be needed – for example, the steps to follow during a morning routine — things like toothpaste, toothbrush, comb, and washcloth can be put in easy-to-use locations which will help prompt a senior to recall what he or she needs to do next.
Creating a dementia-friendly house is not hard when you follow the ABCs: ensure it is Accessible, Bright, and Calm by using these tips:
Nurture independence by boosting accessibility based on the individual’s particular challenges. As an example:
- Place commonly-used items in prominent, easy-to-reach locations.
- Label cabinets, the refrigerator, doors, as well as other regions of the house the individual may frequent with pictures or words to describe whatever they could wish to gain access to.
- Minimize any tripping hazards, such as throw rugs and electrical cords, to ensure clear pathways.
Lighting is an essential component to consider for anyone with dementia:
- Keep rooms well lit, making use of natural lighting as much as possible, or the highest wattage bulb recommended for the older adult’s light fixtures.
- Keep blinds/curtains closed in the evening to help minimize disturbing window reflections that could be misinterpreted as an intruder and also to help the older adult feel secure.
- Always make sure lighting is purposefully placed to eliminate shadows which can cause the senior distress.
Designating a place of retreat for your loved one to de-stress can be extremely helpful. Include:
- Several key items or activities which are typically soothing for the older adult: a stuffed animal or pillow to hug, a well-liked photo album to look through, etc.
- A favorite scent that evokes peace, such as vanilla or lavender.
- Quiet, soothing music.
One of the most effective techniques to help an older adult who has been diagnosed with dementia is to partner with a dependable home care agency like Endeavor In Home Care. Our caregivers are specially trained to understand the needs of those with dementia or Alzheimer’s disease and will help to make your home a safe and calming space. What’s more, our care team can help your family member remain active and engaged with specially designed memory care activities, reminiscing, and outings to see friends. For family caregivers, our reliable respite care services allow you to have peace of mind while taking time for yourself.
For more home modification tips and ideas, or to request a free in-home consultation for more information on our experienced, creative care for people diagnosed with dementia, reach out to Endeavor In Home Care, the leaders in Mesa respite care and throughout the surrounding communities, at (480) 498-2324.
Lots of people go through times when they just want to be left alone for a while with their thoughts, to work through concerns in their lives free from distractions, or simply to enjoy some downtime. For older individuals, however, being isolated for too long may be indicative of a more serious condition: senior depression. Read more
Visiting with Mom recently brought to light a number of concerning signs. While she’s always been up at the crack of dawn, now it’s hard to wake her before noon. Instead of preparing an elaborate home-cooked meal, she would rather simply warm up a can of soup; and can barely finish a small bowlful. Furthermore, she has lost interest in enjoying time with her best friends from church. Might she be experiencing clinical depression or dementia? Read more
The vast majority of older individuals would prefer to age at home where they are comfortable, rather than making a move to an assisted living facility or nursing home – nearly 90 percent of them, based upon research done by AARP. And who can blame them? The comfort of home, the freedom to go wherever, whenever you would like, and preparing the meals you want when you want them are all invaluable commodities. Read more
Home is where we can enjoy the most comfort and familiarity, and it’s for that reason so many older adults make the decision to continue to live at home as they age. But many times, wheelchairs become a part of life when seniors or those with certain disabilities experience decreased mobility. This can be particularly challenging when it comes to ensuring the home is a safe place for seniors with wheelchairs. Thankfully, a few home modifications for aging adults and disabled persons can substantially improve safety. Read more
Alzheimer’s is a complex condition that often presents overwhelming issues for those providing care. As the disease continues into later stages, those with Alzheimer’s become increasingly dependent on communication through behavior rather than speech, and oftentimes these behaviors are of an inappropriate nature. For instance, someone with more advanced Alzheimer’s disease may present the following: Read more
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