Sunday, October 15, 2017

How to Manage Hoarding Behavior in a Person with Dementia

Has your loved one’s “waste not, want not” attitude gone a little too far? Are you dealing with the combination of hoarding behavior and dementia in an older family member? Need more help tackling this tough combo? 

The tendency towards collecting can be a normal and natural part of aging. Whether for nostalgic or practical reasons, the behavior might help the collector feel more comfortable and secure about aging. If a memory issue like dementia or Alzheimer’s takes hold, however, the collecting behavior can intensify and become a serious problem, interfering with the ability to live comfortably. 

Dementia on its own is already a lot to handle; adding hoarding to the mix might seem overwhelming. But there are actually a few easy tips caregivers can follow to help manage hoarding in a person with dementia. 

1. Be Kind

memory care Ann Arbor Address the issue with calmness and kindness. Hoarding isn’t something the person is doing intentionally, so punishment or anger will only hinder the process. Consider involving other people in the management of the problem or in a clean up so everyone has support in the process.

2. Use Incentives

If you need to go through and get rid of a significant amount of material, offer the person incentives to deal with the challenge. These could include donating items to charity, giving things to their church, or passing down to other family members. Personal rewards for hard work can be effective, too. 

3. Provide Distractions

Whether a major cleanup is necessary or not, to keep things under control moving forward, keep the person busy with active tasks. Activity will lessen the compulsion toward collecting and hoarding. Organization tasks, like sorting and labeling, can be particularly helpful. 

4. Know the Hiding Spots

Don’t try to eliminate collecting completely. Manage it by making sure you know the special places used for hiding so you can occasionally take a look and keep track of the behavior. You can even encourage collecting and storage in certain places, like a unique box or chest, to help control the behavior. 

5. Seek Advice

Make sure necessary doctors are aware of the behavior and ask for advice. This is especially important if you feel the behavior is out of control. Social workers and psychologists can also be a great help with a difficult cleanup or managing hoarding behavior. 

You can help a person for whom you’re providing care manage their hoarding, even when added complications like dementia make it seem impossible. These tips are simple to use and really work!

If you have questions about your options for a loved one in need of memory care in Ann Arbor, give us a call today. At Hillside Terrace Retirement Community, our family shares life with your family.  

Sunday, October 1, 2017

5 Things to Consider Before Planning a Cruise Ship Retirement

Thinking about your retirement options? Do the open waters and exotic destination of cruise ship retirement sound appealing? Want to know more about cruise ship retirement?

Looking into the possibility of retiring to a cruise ship seems to be a growing trend, many claiming it’s actually less expensive than a typical retirement community. The appeal of a truly permanent vacation speaks for itself. But what do you really know about the reality of retirement life on a cruise ship? 

memory care Ann Arbor
Before you crack your nest egg on the deck of an ocean liner, here are 5 things you should consider:

  1. Cost- Cruises might be an affordable way to see Europe or the Caribbean, but if you’re considering spending years of your life on a ship, the costs can add up. Cruise ship add-ons include alcohol and soda, laundry, internet service, data roaming, and medical expenses. Retirement communities and assisted living facilities are often priced comparably or more affordably, and aren’t always the dull places you see portrayed in media. 
  2. Care- Even if you’re in great health, chances are you are going to need a level of medical care and attention a cruise ship is not equipped to supply. Emergency visits with a doctor at your cruise residence can be very costly, and there’s a chance you won’t find insurance that will cover you if you live on a cruise ship. 
  3. Mobility- Cruise ships will have some accessibility features, but more than not, they’re designed for energetic (and temporary) vacationers. Because mobility and balance tend to be an issue as we age, the difficulties posed by a cruise ship residence can quickly become tedious. In rougher weather, seniors will likely find hard or even dangerous to maneuver the boat. 
  4. Relationships- Many seniors place high value on the friendships they forge with peers and neighbors in their retirement communities. Living on a cruise ship will make such relationships difficult to come by, considering you’ll be surrounded by new people every few weeks. You may also find the hiatus from family and old friends a burden.
  5. Baggage- If you plan to call a cruise ship home, there’s a lot you’ll have to leave behind. If you’re okay with paring down belongings to a few suitcases, this won’t be a challenge; if not, you’ll have some tough decisions to make! You can also expect relatively small quarters in your new home without much freedom to personalize it to your comfort or liking. 

Don’t get us wrong… cruises are great! But we recommend you take a long vacation rather than taking up residence. For your long-term security and comfort, you have better options than this trend. 

If you have questions about your retirement situation or are exploring options for a loved one in need of memory care in Ann Arbor, give us a call today. At Hillside Terrace Retirement Community, our family shares life with your family.