At Home with Alzheimer’s Patients

At Home with Alzheimer’s Patients

photo of holding hands
Voiced by Amazon Polly

Home Repair and Renovations for Alzheimer’s Patients

photo of holding hands

Image via Pexels

Guest Author: Alice Robertson

What is Alzheimer’s Disease?

Alzheimer’s disease is a form of dementia most common in adults 65 and older. Generalized deterioration of the brain leads to various symptoms, all of which grow progressively worse with age. Those living with Alzheimer’s must eventually enter some sort of assisted living situation, though some can continue living on their own throughout the earliest stages. There is no current cure for Alzheimer’s disease.

Symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease include:

  • Memory loss
  • Impaired judgment
  • Agitation and aggression
  • Loss of motor skills
  • Confusion with time or place
  • Inability to recognize loved ones
  • Repetitive speech or habits
  • Loss of spatial reasoning
  • Withdrawal
  • Depression
  • Seemingly meaningless activities
  • Incontinence
  • Difficulties with dress and hygiene
  • Forgetting meals
  • Inappropriate behaviors
  • Delusions and paranoia
  • Insomnia
  • Communication issues

Home Accessibility for Alzheimer’s

If you are planning to become a caretaker for an Alzheimer’s patient, it is important to make the necessary repairs and renovations around the house that enable safety and accessibility. Whether you are moving into their home or they into yours, the Alzheimer’s patient needs a room of their own on the first floor with direct access to a bathroom. Those with Alzheimer’s need a quiet and private space where they can be alone, separated from excess stimuli that can trigger anxiety.

Having easy access to a bathroom can come in handy in case of a problem with incontinence. However, this is also the most dangerous room in the house. You can help prevent accidents and injuries by installing safety measures such as grab bars that they can use to hoist themselves up from the toilet. If the bathroom is outfitted with a tub, adding a shower bench can make bathing an easier task. In addition to the bench, an extendable showerhead can make it easier to wash the entire body without too much movement.

Alzheimer’s disease has a negative impact on a person’s mobility and can make simple tasks such as using stairs more difficult over time. It’s important to do what you can to remove tripping hazards– including stairs– from around the house. Falls are the most dangerous accidents for seniors. In fact, they are the leading cause of death by injury for people over the age of 60. Beyond removing throw rugs, ottomans, and low-profile tables, you can help prevent falls by placing safety ramps over stairs that your senior loved one will have to use. When looking for ramps, be sure to measure the exact width of your steps — the right ramp will cover the entire area for maximum mobility.

It’s also a good idea to put alarms on doors in case your patient tries to wander outside. And as an extra layer of protection, you might also put up a fence around your yard. You can find highly-rated fencing companies on sites like Angi. Be sure to read over customer reviews before hiring.

Paying for Renovations and Repairs

No matter what safety measures your loved one needs, you are going to need funds. Fortunately, there are resources available for Alzheimer’s caretakers. Home repair loans are available for those with a good credit score. Furthermore, various agencies supply grants for larger renovation projects when in the service of a senior’s needs. You can also consider a life settlement as selling a life insurance policy can provide funds needed for medical expenses or assistance with daily living.

Alzheimer’s is a degenerative brain disease that becomes worse as a person ages. Among the symptoms are memory loss, impaired judgment, and an inability to care for oneself. After a certain amount of time, all Alzheimer’s patients must enter some sort of assisted living situation. In the early and mid-stages of the disease, most can stay at home when supervised by a loved one. However, to facilitate a safe living situation, certain modifications should be made. Beyond a private room, safety measures are needed in the bathroom as well as in precarious areas such as the stairs. To help fund these projects, consider financial sources such as loans, grants, or life insurance settlements.

About the Author:   Alice Robertson started her career as a professional house cleaner in the home organization industry. After years of cleaning and organizing client’s homes, she decided to open a home organizing business.  She has built an impressive client list over the years which helps make spaces in homes and businesses more functional. To share the great cleaning and organizing advice, she recently created Tidy Home.