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Tuesday, 16 January 2018 00:00

If you have a loved one who is suffering from dementia, but is determined to live with you, or in their own home, you may need to make a few adjustments to the living space.

Tuesday, 02 January 2018 04:00

One of the most vital organs to look after as you age is your brain. Research has shown that there is a direct link between certain compounds found in foods and a decreased rate of the onset of certain mental diseases, such as Alzheimer’s and dementia.

Tuesday, 19 December 2017 04:00

As a child, grandchild, spouse or sibling of an aging loved one, the day is bound to come when the house they have lived in for many years needs to be sold. This could be for any number of reasons, but the most common is generally when they need to be moved into a care facility or retirement community.

Before this day comes, there will be so much to organise, including the packing and moving of their decades of belongings. To add to this there is a high emotional price tag attached to many of these items. Consequently, decluttering the lives of an aging loved one can be a highly sensitive task for all involved.

Here are a few simple steps to encourage aging loved ones to begin the decluttering process before a mountain of memories is left for family members to deal with!

Declutter with the S.T.U.F.F. method

The S.T.U.F.F. method of decluttering and untangling an aging loved one’s home stands for: Start, Trust, Understand, Focus and Finish.

1. Start

Start as early on as you can with the decluttering, selling and cleaning process. Get the process underway by discussing it openly. Help your aging loved one to understand the great burden which will fall on other family members if they don’t begin the decluttering process early on. The key is to start small – such as throwing out used / expired medications, cosmetics, books, magazines and newspapers. Be patient in this process, rushing your loved ones can result in resistance and feelings of resentment.

2. Trust

This sensitive process is built on trust. In order to strengthen a parent or loved one’s trust, you need to remain patient and understanding throughout the process of letting sentimental items go. Once trust is established, your loved one will realise you have their best interest at heart, and the entire process will become much easier.

3. Understand

It’s important to understand that letting go of certain possessions will take some time. It has taken years to accumulate so much stuff, it may take just as long to let some of it go. Tell your loved one if you have fond memories or value a certain item, and they may give it to you. Many aging loved ones may find it easier to part with certain items if they know they will be well taken care of.

4. Focus

Divide up their home into sections and focus on one area at a time. It takes a lot of mental, emotional and physical effort to clear out a life-time’s worth of possessions, so the only way to avoid becoming overwhelmed is by focusing on one room at a time. It’s important to guide your loved one where needed, removing as much stress from the process as possible.

5. Finish

Once a certain room or area of the home is finished, it’s vital that you agree with your loved one on the next area to tackle. Agreeing on a new area to declutter will make it easier to return to the clear out process the next time you visit. Try and install confidence in them by letting them know you care about their feelings and will only declutter a certain area if they are 100% comfortable with it.

Depending on how much stuff your loved ones have, the process may take weeks, months or even years. While your goal is to eliminate clutter, it's important to preserve your relationship with a loved one. If you don't have the time or patience, find someone who does –be it a sibling or a professional, and get the process started as early as possible!

Tuesday, 05 December 2017 00:00

As a care giver of someone living with dementia, you most likely encounter a set of the same questions which tend to play on a loop, day in and day out. The repetition of questions and answers is largely dependent on the stage of Alzheimer’s or dementia.

Tuesday, 21 November 2017 08:00

With the inevitable progression of Alzheimer’s and dementia, a loved one or care receiver may forget simple, everyday tasks and their importance. While brushing your teeth, bathing and even clipping your toe nails may seem like the most ordinary, mundane tasks – these daily habits may become a little more complicated for those with Alzheimer’s or dementia.

Tuesday, 07 November 2017 00:00

Making the right food choices as a senior living with diabetes can be challenging. If they are also suffering with the middle to late-stages of Alzheimer’s and dementia, making informed decisions with clarity becomes less and less likely.

Tuesday, 17 October 2017 00:00

Taking time off from care giving responsibilities may seem like an unfathomable task. There is so much organisation, logistics and planning to do, and not forgetting that you need to deal with – the guilt.

Monday, 02 October 2017 00:00

One of the inevitabilities of a disease such as Parkinson’s is that it is a progressive disease - where daily difficulties steadily become more challenging over time. The greatest challenge of all, is learning to adapt to these changes.

Tuesday, 12 September 2017 10:00

As South Africa transitions into spring and summer, the warm weather awaits and poses a great risk for the elderly.

Tuesday, 29 August 2017 10:15

If someone you know or care for has been suffering from some form of mental disorder or illness for quite some time, it will be common knowledge that they more-often-than-not experience trouble with their sleeping pattern.

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