Today’s guest post is brought to you by Jennifer Tucker, Vice President of Homewatch CareGivers, who provide compassionate care for anyone in need of home care services.
A diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease is a time for many decisions about your future and the future of your family. One of the decisions might be whether or not you need to move—to be closer to family, to be in a professional facility, or whether you can stay put and establish a safer home with reliable professional help as the disease progresses.
Photo from Smanatha Ing/Flickr
Not everyone gets diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease at the same point in this progressive disease. For those diagnosed in the earliest stages, there is time to talk with loved ones about personal preferences when the disease is advanced. Such talks can—and should—include time spent researching all of your living options and costs. There are generally three stages of Alzheimer’s disease: early (mild), middle (moderate), and late (severe). The disease progresses differently in each person and your loved one may live for anywhere from another four to 20 years.
The choice to move is personal—one individual may choose to move to another state to be closer to family whereas another might choose to stay where they are for as long as possible. According to the Alzheimer’s Association, a person in the early stage of the disease can still live independently and a person in middle stage will begin to need more care as confusion increases in daily life. One option may be to make your home more adaptable, hire professional in-home caregivers, and establish new routines during these early and middle stages of the disease.
Although research shows that the vast majority of us prefer to remain in our own homes as we age, the final stage of Alzheimer’s can be very challenging and some type of professional care is mandatory to keep you or your loved one safe. This may be the time to be closer to family or move to a facility that specializes in memory care. Often, a professional caregiver who is a familiar constant in daily life, can still provide care after a move too.
Here are four tips to help you and a loved one who is living with Alzheimer’s disease prepare for moving:
Regardless of the stage of the disease, always consider the person and not just their disease as you find ways to make their living environment safe, happy, and comfortable.