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As your parents grow older, there will be a time when you have to think about how to care for them. While some people remain sharp and fit no matter how old they get, many people have trouble remembering things in their old age.
For some, this can turn into Alzheimer’s disease. When this happens, you have a big choice to make: Do you move your parent into a facility or into your home? Because leaving a person with Alzheimer’s all by themselves is usually a bad idea. Read on for some tips on how to modify your home so you don’t have to put your parent in a facility.
Alzheimer's Disease Affects Many Seniors
As Alz.org explains, Alzheimer’s is a neurological disease
that impacts older people. It makes it harder for someone to think clearly and to remember things. Someone with this disease can often forget small things (like where they left their keys) or big things (like who their children are). While not every old person will deal with Alzheimer’s, there are more than five million cases in America. In fact, 1 in 3 seniors has some form of dementia by the time they pass away.
What causes Alzheimer’s? Scientists aren’t perfectly sure, but it seems to come down to genetics
. There are certain mutations in genes that are associated with this disease. Exercise and mental activities don’t seem to affect it either. That means you cannot be certain whether your parent would have this problem or not.
If your parent is showing some signs of memory loss, Alzheimer’s could be the cause. If they get this diagnosis, there are some changes you can make to your home to make things easier for them.
The Mayo Clinic recommends that you start with the bathroom
since that can be risky for anyone. Make sure there are no slippery surfaces, and you should install a grab bar in the shower. You should also reduce the water temperature to prevent burns. You should also look into installing a home monitoring system. This can help prevent accidents turning bad, especially when you aren’t home.
Your parent’s bedroom will also need some work. Make sure the door doesn’t lock in case they lock it and don’t realize it. If you skip the monitoring system, you can always use a baby monitor or two-way radio to keep track of your parent. (Unfortunately, that is sometimes necessary with someone who has Alzheimer’s.)
How can you pay for making any needed changes? Home Advisor shows there are grants
available to some people. For example, Veterans Affairs offers two grants for modifying a home you own for someone with a disability like Alzheimer’s. If you do not have a military background, there are other grants available as well.
There’s a lot you can (and should) do for your parent in their time of need, but there’s only so much you can do. That’s why you have to be prepared to get some ancillary care
These are services that support a senior. They can be anything from massage for sore muscles, speech therapy to help your parent speak more clearly, and travel services. These can come directly to your home and do their jobs there. Depending on your parent’s specific needs, you might also need a nurse to visit your home from time to time. They can help monitor your parent’s health, as someone with dementia can forget to take medication or even eat.
While it’s not like your parent will suddenly wake up one morning with Alzheimer’s disease, you never know when it will become official. If your parent is having some problems with their memory or thinking, start planning to modify your home so they can stay with you.