Senior Care in Chapel Hill NC
Downsizing an elderly person’s home is rarely a fun or easy situation to encounter in your senior care journey, and if your seniors are dealing with Alzheimer’s disease or another form of dementia, it can be even more stressful. Going through this process carefully is important to making sure that you get your parents’ home clean, safe, and organized, or prepare them properly for their transition into a new home or into living in your home, effectively and with the least amount of stress and upset for your aging parents.
Use these tips to help make downsizing the home for your parents with Alzheimer’s disease or another form of dementia simpler, less stressful, and more effective:
• Prepare to store. Seniors with Alzheimer’s disease are more likely to feel strong attachment to items and not be able to understand why they need to get rid of things. Trying to convince them to throw items away can cause agitation and stress, which are bad for your parents’ mental, emotional, cognitive, and physical health. Instead, prepare yourself to store a lot of what you are trying to get out of their home. Choose sturdy containers such as plastic totes with secure lids and label them carefully so that you know what is inside. Stack them carefully in your parents’ attic, garage, or basement, your storage areas in your home, or even a separate storage unit. This gets the items out of the way but gives your parents the comfort of knowing that they are still close by.
• Make them a part of it. Simply because your loved ones have been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease does not mean that they should not be a part of the experience. In fact, communicating with them and making an effort to make them feel involved and in control is extremely important for easing stress and reducing feelings of being disrespected and overlooked, which can increase uncooperative behaviors and resistance. Talk to them about the items that should be cleared out and have them help you decide what to throw away, donate, give to friends or family members, or sell.
• Take pictures. It is important to remember that it is the emotional meaning of items that matters to most people, and being able to revisit these emotions can ease the stress and difficulty of letting go of these belongings. One way that you can do this for your parents is to take pictures of the items and make them into a photo album so that your parents can look through them whenever they want to reminisce about those items.
• Distract them. Most people, even those without Alzheimer’s disease, feel anxious about letting go of their belongings, but actually would not notice if items that they do not use “disappeared” from their home. Ask your parents’ senior health care services provider to plan a special outing for your loved ones on the day that you plan to remove items such as broken furniture or items from storage areas so that they do not witness the clearing out and get stressed out.
If you or an aging loved one are considering senior care in Chapel Hill, NC or the surrounding areas, please contact the friendly staff at HomeChoice Home Care Services. Call today (919) 847-5622