Monday, July 9, 2007

Alzheimer's care for me - Part I

Today I was reading posts on a forum for Alzheimer's caregivers and became interested in a thread titled "If you were the one with AD, how would you like to be cared for?"

I've been working on a living will and thinking about how I want to instruct health care workers for care in the event of my inability to make decisions for myself. I hadn't really thought about dementia care.

I find that kind of strange since I have spent most of the last decade serving as a caregiver.

But it is a great question and I am not certain I am prepared to completely answer it at this point. So I am planning on at least 2 entries.

Independent Living

I want to live independently as long as possible and reasonable. And I do know a few ways that I can extend that period as I age.

Home design and location can really help. Hallways and door opening should be wide enough to permit walkers and wheelchairs. The ability to live on one level is imperative. Bathroom design should contemplate bathing for older individuals. Location should provide relatively easy access to commonly used services and stores.

Personal aides and services could also extend the term of independent living. I think that as my Baby Boomer generation ages that there may well be changes in some stores. We're a numerous bunch and pretty demanding. So I would not be surprised to see grocery stores and entrepreneurs offer shopping and delivery services. Personal chefs, cleaning and maintenance services, and other such providers will undoubtedly become more widespread.

Keeping fit and healthy and maintaining good nutrition can certainly extend the length of time one can live independently.

But that all begs the question really. Because eventually there very likely will come a time when independent living is just not possible.

So then what?

To be continued ....

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