Dermatologists Offer 5 Helpful Anti-Aging Tips

treatment-1327811_640

 

Beauty is only skin deep. It’s a very subjective and psychological thing more than anything else. But it means something to everyone. Most people want to keep their smooth, healthy, young-looking skin as long as possible. But how best to do that?

In this article we provide some basic tips suggested by dermatologists for helping to keep your skin looking young for longer, or hide the signs of age.

The effects of aging on the skin is a problem for senior men and women alike.

Aging is a certainty for everyone, but some factors are within your power to control or slow.

These are not tips that simply apply to the elderly, but would wisely be adopted by young people as well. The earlier you start thinking about preserving your beautiful skin, the better! Below we will list a guide for things to start doing as well as things to stop doing to achieve healthy skin.

 

  1. Diet Can Effect Your Skin as Well as Your Weight

There are several diet tips we can offer to preserve healthy skin. It should come as no surprise that sugars and processed foods are bad. They are not only bad for weight, but also hinder the body’s biochemical processes for producing dermal cells. Drinking one liter of water every day is a great way to purify and cleanse the body and keep skin at its best. Eating Omega 3 and Omega 6 fatty acids (which can be found in olive oil, flaxseed, and salmon) is proven to help keep the top layer of your skin that produces moisture functioning great!

  1. Beware of Too Much UV Ray Exposure

It’s hard to overstate the importance of applying sunblock. Too much exposure to the sun’s UV rays not only increases the chances of skin cancer, but also accelerates the aging processes for skin. Sunburns can damage your body’s elastin and decrease your amount of collagen, which leads to drooping skin and wrinkles.

 

  1. Take Retinoid Vitamins

Doctors agree that the current best types of topical creams for repairing the aging process are Retinoid-based. Retinoids are rich in Vitamin-A, which can help boost collagen production, increase skin cell turnover, and even unclog pores. If you are interested, ask your doctor if a Retinoid-based product is right for your skin.

 

  1. Adjust Your Morning / Night Routine

In order to make a serious concerted effort to help restore your skin, you will probably need to make alterations to certain aspects of your daily routine. Managing the products applied to your skin is a great anti-aging precaution.  Do your best to start the day off applying sunscreen before you go out in the morning. Do not go to bed with makeup on, letting it sit on your face longer than needed.

 

  1. Mind Your Cosmetics

There are cosmetic procedures that can help regenerate skin. You can exfoliate your skin from home through the use of facials or microdermabrasion creams applied to the face. These Peel products can serve to help your skin look brighter and refreshed. Of course, makeup is an effective anti-aging tool for hiding wrinkles or age marks after you have tried everything else. Just keep in mind that if your don’t wash it off properly, it can be counter-effective by harming skin.

 

Risks of Elderly Bruising

Isolated bandages set

The body becomes more frail for various reasons as it ages into later years of life. This makes bruising more recurrent in many elders, as the body is less resilient to bumps, scrapes, or falls. Bruises can often be ugly or embarrassing to have to deal with, so we provide some tips on how to prevent, treat, and deal with the risks of elderly bruising.

 

Preventing Senior Bruises

Bruises, and most senior injuries in general, are often due to falls. A way to prevent elderly bruising is to do your best to prevent falls at home. This can be done in many ways, including installing shower matts in the bathrooms, ensuring stair rails are secure, making sure furniture doesn’t obstruct walking paths, and using a cane or senior walker for transportation.

Treating Senior Bruises

Typically, advanced medical assistance is not needed to treat elderly bruising. As time passes, any blood leaked from a bruise will be absorbed back into the body eventually. Unfortunately, this natural process can take a considerably longer amount of time in seniors. Serious bruises can sometimes stay with an elder for weeks. The best thing that a senior can do to speed up the healing process, is to apply a sort of frozen compress to the affected bruised area as soon as possible. Do not apply ice directly to the skin however. This cold compress can slow the amount of blood draining into skin tissue, and prevent the bruise from becoming noticeably large. Hold cold compresses on the bruise for several minutes at a time, then apply a warm compress to restore the circulation and bring down the pressure in the affected bruised area.

Senior Bruising as a Side Effect of Medication

Bruising may be a symptom of certain medical conditions. Diseases like Leukemia or other blood diseases can be factors in increasing senior bruising. Also, conditions that affect the liver can result in higher likelihood of bruising, since the liver is responsible in part for handling blood clots. Medications may sometimes contribute to senior bruising susceptibility as well. Anti-coagulation medicines, like Coumadin®, serve to fight blood clots and prevent heart attacks and strokes, but may also have a side effect of rising the possibility of elder bruising. Several non-prescription medicines have been known for this side effect also, including ibuprofen, aspirin, and some antidepressants. If the possibility of bruising is concerning, than be sure to consult your doctor before taking any new medications.

Senior Bruising from Elder Abuse

The National Center for Elder Abuse defines the act of ‘elder abuse’ to be: “any knowing, intentional, or negligent act by a caregiver (or any other person) that causes harm or serious risk of harm to an elder adult.” If you notice an elder loved one bearing bruises frequently, or bruises that appear to be the result of rough handling, then it may be a good idea to investigate the living environment of your senior loved one, or to have a personal talk with them to find out if abuse is occurring. Abuse can be an embarrassing or traumatic thing to discuss, so make your best effort to make a senior feel comfortable, safe, and loved when discussing. Sometimes an elder feels that they don’t want to burden or concern you by mentioning such problems; so please make an effort to convey that they should not feel reluctant to share anything important.

Home Health Aide Duties

Assisted living

 

As an elder starts to require medical care and assistance with daily activities in order to maintain a life it at home, it can be challenging to understand the difference in the semantics between the semantics of the different kinds of care available.

Home health care is a great option for elders who still want to stay as independent as they can, without moving to a nursing home or assisted living facility to receive the care or medical aide they need.

 

Home Care Vs. Home Health Aide

There are many senior aide services out there, and elder care types can encompass a broad level of care by skilled medical and nonmedical professionals who specialize in serving seniors at home in specific ways.

When looking for care at home, it is important to know the difference between home care and home health aide. Home health aide implied providing medical attention by a registered nurse to some extent to a senior at home. Home health aide goes beyond assisting with daily living tasks or proving necessary monitoring, and may also involve skilled nursing care.   Home health care services can include duties such as physical therapy, cardiac rehabilitation, wound care and wound dressing, injections, table feeding, diabetic care, and post-stroke monitoring and care.

The duties of a home care provider will be less extensive and less medically focused. Home care offers seniors assistance with less health crucial activities, such as meal preparation, dressing, transportation, and need for monitoring and companionship.

 

Home Health Aide Credentials

Home health agencies need a state license in order to operate to ensure seniors are in medically capable hands when living at home with medical conditions. Background checks and adherence to regulations are needed for home health aide agencies to provide care. When selecting a home health aide agency, it is best to make sure they have the credentials to show they are equipped to meet an elder’s medical.

 

When to Seek Home Health Aide

The best times to seek home health aide may be after concerning health developments or after accidents or surgical procedures that may have temporarily left an elder vulnerable at home and in need of care and company. When a senior has a chronic or terminal illness, is living independently after a major surgery, or is ill enough to require short-term health aide, it may be time to get in touch with a home health aide provider.

 

The best home health aide agencies will work with elders to help determine which type of care is best suited to an elder’s personal, specific medical needs. Home health aide nurses are most effective when they work with the elder in their care to assist them in meeting their goals for what they want to be able to achieve while living at home, and accordingly concoct a fitting routine that works best for the both of them. The relationship of a home health aide caregiver is a bit more medical and professional and less relational and personal than that of a home care caregiver. Companionship is more suited to home care, while medical assistance is more the focus of a home health aide. That is not to say that home health aides cannot be friendly or personally acquainted with an elder, it is just to say that home health aides are more specifically focused on their nursing duties.

Senior Metastatic Melanoma Statistics

Smiling senior man at the beach

 

As aging adults enter their senior years, taking every precaution to protect a body growing gradually more frail becomes an essential course of action for prolonging a senior’s life and health. Skin often becomes even more delicate during senior years, and applying sunblock is a crucial safeguard toward the various types of skin cancer that put seniors at risk.

 

The most aggressive kind of skin cancer is melanoma, and it is also the sixth most common kind of cancer overall. The majority of those diagnosed with melanoma cancer are seniors over the age of sixty, putting adults in their golden years at higher risk for the disease. When melanoma has spread to other areas of the body, it is called metastatic (advanced) melanoma.

 

Once Melanoma has spread from the original tumor site to other serious places in the body (lymph nodes, lungs, liver, brain, etc.), it is identified as being Stage IV Melanoma.

 

How Many Are Affected by Metastatic Melanoma?

 

The American Caner Society has estimated that there are over 75,000 cases of melanoma in the U.S. alone, resulting in under 10,000 deaths per year. Approximately 12% of metastatic melanoma cases end fatally each year.

 

 

Senior Metastatic Melanoma Risks

 

Lack of precaution for ultra violet rays is the leading danger for metastatic melanoma. When sunblock or appropriate clothing covering for hot weather days are neglected, it increases risk of skin cancer.

The risk of melanoma is greatest for seniors who have weaker immune systems, fair skin complexions, spend much time in the sun, or have a family history of melanoma.

 

Senior Metastatic Melanoma Prognosis

 

For Metastatic Melanoma in seniors, the typical 5-year survival rate is about 15-20%, and the ten year survival rate is 10-15%.

 

The severity of stage IV melanoma will vary based on where exactly the cancer has spread to in a senior’s body. The worst place melanoma can spread is the inner organs, but metastatic melanoma is somewhat less severe when it spreads instead to other parts of the skin or distant lymph nodes.

 

Other factors affect the survival rate as well. Older age often leads to higher mortality likelihood with metastatic melanoma, with age 70 and above being the most impacted age range. Also, Caucasian men are prone to be at the highest risk of developing melanoma.

 

Is Metastatic Melanoma Treatable for Seniors?

 

Catching the disease early on provides the best chance of effective treatment. Irregular moles and very bad sunburns may be indicators of melanoma in seniors. Once melanoma has reached stage IV, surgery efforts to remove melanoma are rarely successful. There are drug treatment and biologic therapies available to treat and slow the progression of the disease and better the quality of life for affected seniors with metastatic melanoma.

 

 

 

senior-care-compass-alzheimers-care-728x90[1]

Most Common Causes of Senior Vision Loss

Male optician examining senior patients eyes through slit lamp in clinic

 

It is a common affliction brought on by aging for the five senses to gradually diminish in seniors. Eyesight is one of the most prevalent bodily functions to deteriorate in elder years, and it can be a very distressing and alarming issue. Just under 7 million senior Americans over the age of 65 have developed severe vision impairment.

 

Understanding the different vision disorders brought on by age may help seniors recognize problems and seek available treatments more quickly before serious vision damage is done.

 

The three primary vision disorders in seniors are

  • Age related macular degeneration (AMD)
  • Glaucoma
  • Cataracts

These terrible eye conditions often go undiagnosed and unnoticed for long periods of time because they progress very gradually. These conditions frequently go undetected until serious damage has been done and it become more difficult to treat effectively. Older adults may be wise to schedule moderately routine eye exams, understanding that they as seniors are more susceptible to these disorders.

 

Age Related Macular Degeneration (AMD) – this eye condition slowly damages the retina, leaving peripheral vision mostly intact, but alarmingly making anything you try to directly focus on blur and disappear. The safety risks of AMD are obvious, as reading, facial recognition, and navigating spaces are severely hampered with this type of vision loss.

 

AMD is not currently curable, however, medications are available to slow down its progression considerably. Fortunately, AMD is not physically painful to the body or eyes, nor does it damage or effect any other bodily functions. Seniors developing AMD often seek care in assisted living facilities for help with certain daily tasks.

 

Glaucoma – Symptoms of glaucoma include increased pressure in the eye cavity, causing nerve damage, vision impairment, and even pain in the eye. Glaucoma educes tunnel vision in seniors .

 

Treatments for glaucoma are surgical as well as pharmaceutical, able to slow the progression of the degeneration and reduce pain, however there is no cure for the disorder. Glaucoma is exceedingly prominent in seniors over the age of 70, so vision checks are recommended for seniors in their later years to detect and hinder the progression of this disorder which can also dramatically effect a senior’s ability to live independently and safely.

 

Cataracts – This disorder clouds the lens of the eye by clumping naturally occurring proteins in the eye. Cataracts are the most common cause of vision impairment and blindness in the world. Men and women of all ages can develop cataracts, however cataracts are most prevalent for senior vision loss.

 

Cataracts are relatively easily detected through basic eye inspections. This eye disorder is characterized by blurred vision and fading of color comprehension. Although cataracts do not cause pain, they are capable of deteriorating vision to the point of total blindness, hindering independent living for senior citizens. Cataracts may be treated with drops and these eye clumps may be removed with surgery.

 

 

The causes of these eye disorders are not fully known, however, they are generally able to be detected and slowed in their progression. It is important for seniors to be aware of their higher proneness for developing vision impairment and to schedule semi-regular eye inspections in their later years to ensure prolonged independent living and quality of life.

 

 

senior-care-compass-alzheimers-care-728x90[1]

Senior Driving – How To Keep Your License

handsome senior man driving a car

Senior citizens in America often have a stereotypical stigma for poor driving capabilities. However, getting older does not automatically impair your driving skills. The changes brought on by age in senior’s bodies may affect physical and cognitive traits used for driving, but there are ways that seniors can consciously improve their driving skills to keep their license for longer in spite of these changes by being careful.

 

How exactly does age affect senior driving abilities?

 

  • Alzheimer and dementia – As senior Americans enter into their later years, they often become more susceptible to cognitive diseases like Alzheimer’s and dementia, diseases that affect memory, thinking, and problem solving skills.
  • Eyesight and hearing impairment – Hindrances to vision and hearing brought on by aging can affect senior driving for reading signs and environmental cues. Senior eyesight may become too sensitive to the sun through the windshield or headlights at night as well. Seniors can check their eyesight and hearing at a doctors office to be deemed safe for the road.
  • Arthritis disease – diseases affecting the hands and dexterity can be harmful to senior driving abilities when handling the wheel.
  • Bad joints – Additionally, the joints used in turning the wheel, putting on a seatbelt, and operating a car’s brakes and accelerator can become an issue for senior driving.
  • Reflexes – Certain cognitive impairments can affect the reflexes necessary for making fast reactions to traffic occurrences or responding to traffic signals and signs, or abrupt stops. Aging may result in a shorter attention span and reduced multi-tasking skills needed for navigating a dynamic road.
  • Physical disabilities and pain – Sometimes injuries and health development result in states of pain and discomfort that can become distracting and hazardous to a senior’s ability to focus on the road.
  • Over-cautiousness – Seniors are often aware of their fragility and cognitive problems, but do not want to risk losing their license by making mistake. This results in some seniors being overly cautious and driving dangerously slow (to avoid speeding or accidents) but may put others at risk who are trying to maneuver around them.

 

Seniors viewing loosing their drivers license as equivalent to loosing their freedom in the 21st century world. To make sure that you are still capable of road traveling, a senior may submit themselves for a driver refresher course. Costs for driver refresher courses are often covered by the AARP for senior members.

 

 

Smart Driving Tips to Help You Keep Your License

 

  • Only drive in familiar areas, plan your route ahead of time for new destinations to reduce anxiety and possible confusion
  • Try to make trips to places that are close and easy to reach.
  • Allow for extra time when making a trip or outing, so you are not rushed or prone to make any irrational driving decisions
  • Do not drive when you feel stress or exhaustion. Arrange for a carpool or get a ride when you feel these symptoms.
  • Be aware of the side effects of medicines, and whether or not it is advisable to operate machinery or drive after a dose.
  • Always wear a seatbelt when driving; it is not only critical for safety, but the law of the land.
  • For seniors who use cell phones or smartphones, always be sure not to add the extra hazardous distraction of talking on the phone or texting while driving.
  • Regularly check your mirrors while driving to maintain a sense of your surroundings.
  • For the safety and comfort of others, try not to drive to close behind anyone driving in front of your vehicle.

 

When is it time to give up driving?

 

Pay attention for the exterior signs and indications of when it may be at last time to consider giving up driving for the sake of your health and safety. If you are experiencing:

  • Large amounts of other drivers honking at you frequently
  • Have you been having many close-calls or accidents lately
  • Are you getting lost often while on the road
  • Have members of your family expressed concern

 

Other Transportations Options

 

Retiring your license is not the end of the world. A senior can find many alternative methods for getting around when driving is not longer an option. You may get a ride from members of your family when living at home. Public transportation like buses and cabs are available in city areas. Many senior living facilities offer transportation for senior residents as well.

 

 

doggie car

Does a Good Night Sleep Prevent Alzheimer’s?

Senior Couple Sleeping In Bed

 

New studies are suggesting that quality sleep can be a big factor in helping to “detoxify” a healthy brain, and keep the development Alzheimer’s in seniors at bay. The obligations of daily living for adults can make it difficult to get the proper amount of rest advised by sleep doctors—a full 8 hours. However, getting a full night’s rest may offer more than just beauty sleep, but also healthy brain sleep to prevent Alzheimer’s in seniors later in life.

 

Research conducted at the University of Berkeley has shown that disturbed sleep and insufficient amounts of sleep may be contributors to the development of Alzheimer’s disease in seniors. By using brain scans on seniors with and without Alzheimer’s, University scientists determined that a lack of sleep caused a build up of what they call “garbage proteins” in the brain that directly affect the quality of mental cognition.

 

Understanding that Alzheimer’s disease was a well-known cause of disturbed sleep, these Berkeley researches set out to determine if the opposite proved true as well—can bad sleep cause Alzheimer’s? Scientists noticed a mysterious toxic protein forming in the brains of seniors with habits for poor sleep. Normally, our body uses sleep to metabolize this pesky protein until it evaporates, ceasing to be a threat. However, when sleep is not allowed to do its job, this toxic protein phenomenon may accumulate over time and do damage to a healthy mind. In other words, when ignoring our need for sleep by trying to be productive, we are inadvertently leaving a mess inside our own minds.

 

When the brains in animals were evaluated before human testing began, similar connections were discovered with sleep deprivation and mental cognition. This garbage protein was found to accumulate in the brains of mice as well, causing their brains to shrink and decay, like Alzheimer’s does to a human mind.

 

These findings are not completely conclusive, and further study is required, however, in understanding the mechanisms and proteins involved in this terrible memory loss disease, we may be one step closer to curing it soon. While it is tempting to ignore your human need for rest in order to fit in more work or recreation into your day, keep in mind that sleep is just as vital to your health as a good diet or exercise. Do your best to hit the pillow early, because a good night sleep may prevent Alzheimer’s disease.

 

 

incontinence pads

Dementia Care

 

assisted living

When a senior in your care is diagnosed with or is showing symptoms of dementia, it can be a very devastating and frustrating time for everyone in the home, and it is time to look for dementia care.

If you feel called to assume the duties of caregiving for a senior loved one with dementia, we have some helpful guidelines for handling some of the most common areas of difficulty. Here are some suggested solutions for the best types of caregiving for dementia.

 

Aggression

 

Dementia is a disease that changes the brain in many ways, altering emotional responses and perception of events. This can lead to communication difficulties and behavioral problems for a senior with dementia. Symptoms of emotional instability include amplified anger, sadness, confusion, and paranoia. Mood swings and aggressive outbursts may suddenly occur in response to physical or emotional discomfort. A senior with dementia showing violence or hostility may be acting out of fear and desperation in response to a feeling of helplessness.

 

To handle increased aggression from a senior with dementia in your care, try to calmly identify the cause of their aggression, attempt to understand their reasoning for feeling so suddenly angry (even if it does not make sense to you or seem reasonable). Peacefully restoring order to an aggressive situation will require a lot of patience and control on the part of the caregiver. If possible, try to reassuringly shift their attention onto something else besides what has made them upset. Make certain that a confused senior loved one is not threatening or presenting a danger to anyone else.

Whatever you do, don’t respond to aggression with more aggression or aggravation. Don’t attempt to forcibly restrain someone unless there is no choice.  Mitigate the situation with as much respect as possible; avoid acting dominant, barking at them with sharp words like “No!”

 

Confusion

 

A senior with dementia may abruptly lose his or her sense of place, asking a question like “where am I?” or declaring “I don’t live here!” In their minds, they want to return to a place they feel they have control. A senior with dementia may express a desire to go home, even though he or she is already safe at home.

 

Home for them might be some place long ago and far away. But you must do your best to tenderly remind them that home is “here” now. Proving simple explanations or keeping photos on hand can help to explain. Speak clearly, and repeat yourself. Don’t assume you have been understood. Sometimes your explanations for sudden questions like “When can we leave?” can be answered with what is called a therapeutic fib. Sometimes just receiving any answer or reassurance is enough to keep questions of dementia content.

 

It is unwise to always respond to confused questioning with lengthy explanations or reasons to these questions. Your explanations may add more confusion and more questions, further detracting everyone from the current activity. Do your best to not give frustrated responses either. Showing hostility can breed more hostility.

 

Impaired Judgment

 

A senior with dementia may be suddenly prone to unfounded accusations. A senior might go into hysterics claiming someone has stolen some possession that has been gone to him or her for decades. Deductive reasoning and basic math skills may suffer as well. Symptoms like these are part of the unfortunate deterioration of brain cells, affecting their judgment capabilities.

 

A way to assist seniors suffering from poor judgment is to help them become more organized, so that they posses a sense of place and where things belong. If a senior with mild dementia attempts to balance their checkbook or calculate a tip at dinner, it may be helpful for you to check their math when you can. Passively monitoring their behavior can be more effective than accusing them of being incompetent and revoking their privileges to manage their own affairs all together. This may result in an atmosphere of resentment and contention in the home.

 

Assisted Living Options

 

During later stages of dementia, sometimes it is not possible for a family member to offer the degree of caregiving for dementia that a senior loved one needs. Then a senior may require the more specialized care of trained professionals. Assisted living facilities and memory care communities provide a safe environment that cares for a senior’s health and monitoring needs. Research your options for senior care and memory care facilities near you to ensure that your senior gets the care and attention they need.

 

 

 

arcylic tub

Great Exercises For Seniors

 

photodune-4998995-smiling-woman-standing-on-one-leg-while-doing-yoga-xs-199x300

 

 

Exercise is an activity that even the youngest and healthiest people often neglect to make a habit of doing. But exercise is a secret weapon for a senior to stay healthy and independent for longer into their golden years.  There are plenty of great exercises for seniors that can keep them active and refreshed.

Maintaining fitness and exercising does not necessarily mean lifting heavy weights and undertaking rigorous, intense workout regiments for long times. However, avoiding lethargy and inactivity can boost your general health and make you feel good throughout the day.

The National Institute of Health (NIH) has recommended four basic types of exercise for seniors that accommodate an elder’s pace and promote health.

 

Strength Exercises: For seniors, strength exercises are often condensed down to a manageable lightweight dumbbell workout. The goal is not so much to build mass as it is to stimulate muscles and maintain strength.

Do not exert yourself too much; select a weight that feels just enough to require a little umph. Then use smooth, steady movements to bring the weight or dumbbell into position. Avoid sharp jerking movements or locking your joints. Don’t forget to breathe steadily. Holding your breath for too long while lifting can negatively affect your blood pressure.

If you find yourself exhausted after exercise, then that is a good indicator that you are working too hard.

 

Balance Exercises: Improving and strengthening the lower half of the body will help with balance and reduce the risk of falls among seniors. Falling is one of the leading causes of disabilities among seniors, with over 300,000 elders treated for broken hips every year.

Thus it is crucial to do whatever it takes to avoid such an accident in your older age. Some good balance exercises for seniors may include lowering down to do squats while holding on to a table edge; standing on one foot; walking heel to toe,  back leg / side leg raises.

It is unwise for seniors to use heavy weights for squats.  Balance exercises for seniors can be done at any time as long as their is steady support near by to ensure safety in case of a balance misstep.

 

Stretching Exercises: Stretching loosens up the joints and allows for more freedom of movement for seniors; this allows you to be more active. It is wise to do some light stretching as a warm up before attempting a more intense workout in order to better prepare the body. Never bounce into a stretch because doing so will put unnecessary strain on your joints.

A stretch may be mildly uncomfortable, but should never be painful. Take time to research which stretching exercises are more your pace.

 

Endurance Exercises: Endurance exercises for seniors include activities that raise your heart rate and intensify your breathing. Such exercises include going for a jog, swimming, biking, or even some exerting chores like raking leaves. Although especially intense chores like shoveling snow may prove to be dangerously over-exerting, so it may be wise to give the nice neighbor-boy a few bucks for those grueling undertakings.

Cardio activity is good for improving heart health, as heart problems are very common in older men. Doing about five minutes of cardio at a time will gradually build your endurance and lead to an improved state of health.

How Much Change Is Good For Seniors with Alzheimer’s?

Aging Parents

When a senior loved one has fallen victim to a severely mentally deteriorating disease like Alzheimer’s or dementia, good caregivers often seek to make their living space as safe as possible. Sometimes well-meaning caregivers will change the entire arrangement of a home, swept up in removing hazards and adding locks to avoid accidents. However, caregivers must keep in mind that altering the environment of a senior with cognitive debilitations can also be very disorienting for them as well as helpful.  Not all change is good for seniors with Alzheimer’s.

 

Often times, a senior has lived in the same home for many years, and is still able to navigate through the house with a sort of muscle memory about the layout of their familiar environment. Rearranging the home all together may contribute to some subconscious confusion in addition to their hampered cognition, making it even harder to get around. It may be best to retain a familiar surrounding.

 

Depending on the severity of your loved one’s case, some adjustments may surely need to be made. If a senior with dementia is prone to wander off, then door alarms or other precautions may need to be installed. Also, if a senior generally kept a messy home when living independently, the mess and clutter may add to the confusion as well, and disorient a senior’s sense of space. An untidy environment may also increase the likelihood of trips and falls. So, it will be up to you to gauge the necessary balance between maintaining a comfortable familiar surrounding and reorganizing space for safety purposes.

 

If you feel that changes to your senior loved one’s environment are in fact needed, then it may be best to de-clutter or safety-proof a home gradually. An overnight reconstruction of an Alzheimer patient’s living space can be an overwhelming change; but selectively removing or reorganizing unnecessary items around the home over time can be beneficial.

 

For many seniors with Alzheimer’s and Dementia, routine is the key to sanity. It is often comforting and less mentally exerting to stay in a zone of sameness with fewer surprises.. Whenever you make a change or move something important to an elder in your care, try to be sure that they see you move their cane or bracelet or chair, so that it will register more easily in their mind, instead of coming off as a total surprise to discover later.

 

No one knows your loved one better than you do, so as their caregiver, try to figure out their own personal tolerance level for change when trying to craft an accommodating living space for their cognitive condition