HomeFit and More

Julia Maestrejuan has reported magnificently on the Age- and Dementia-Friendly Winnemucca Lecture Series. 

I want to thank her for attending and for her thorough summary of each event. 

My last two articles covered HomeFit — making your home ideal for living there forever — and Julia supplemented with more ideas so I will quickly round out the ways to create a perfect living space then move on.

Is your laundry room convenient with easy to reach machines as well as washing products? 

My daughter-in-law has a handy extendable drying rack right by her dryer. With added hangers plus rungs for delicates, I love her set-up. 

When we had tile added to our master bath, Lynn cut a laundry chute for me – this is fantastic! I no longer have to lug a heaping basketful of dirty clothes down the stairs – they’ve already arrived. Bringing them upstairs is simple as it is one load at a time.

Finally, let’s head outdoors. Once again a bench or chair is recommended close to the door with handrails installed if you have steps. 

Motion-sensor lighting is recommended along with paved or smooth walkways. If a large yard overwhelms you, think about new, low-water landscaping. 

Not only will this save a valuable resource, you will also have added free time with less mowing. A clean, well-organized garage is valuable. You can easily find stored items plus have room for parking a car out of the intense sun or winter snow.

I must add that during my April 150 item throw-out spree, I rambled though each area described in HomeFit and can happily say this project helped me organize and minimize. 

While I still have plenty of chucking to go, I am on a roll. Recently I needed the papers on our home – voila! I walked right to them. 

Lynn needed additional walls-of-water for his tomatoes — I sent him straight to their hiding spot in the garage. 

May is full and gone but with June on the horizon, I plan to continue my spree. I am certain that there will be no problem locating 150 more things to add to the throwaway pile.

We completed the ADF-Winnemucca Lecture Series with a wonderful presentation by Michelle and Rendal Miller. 

With low attendance (sadly) this allowed one-on-one consultation. I know I benefited from this opportunity to ask questions about Wills and Trusts and to consider changes in our estate planning. 

Winners provided us with a room and included wine and hors d’oeuvres – the kindness of a local business is appreciated.

Starting May 31 and running through July 5, Powerful Tools for Caregivers meets each Tuesday at 10am at the Pleasant Senior Center. Registration is required so contact me for more information then plan to attend some or all of the sessions. 

Discussion includes ways to take care of yourself, to reduce stress, to communicate effectively on difficult topics, and to learn from our emotions. 

I will be leading the class along with Hannah Linden from UNR and I know I will gain knowledge and background information from the participants. 

This is live and via Zoom so whether you are in Winnemucca or off to another state (or country) you can still join us.

An update from the Nevada Task Force on Alzheimer’s Disease. 

With no power to enact rules or law, TFAD passes along ideas to government officials on the importance of focus on AD and other dementias. 

A hot topic is wording and I’d love your input. NRS uses the term caregiver(s) as do most sites, articles, and discussions, to define one who takes care of another. A proposal is to change to “care partners”. My local support group attendees pointed out to me that with Alzheimer’s, as the disease progresses, there is no partnership – there is only caregiving. 

New language would say “people living with dementia and their care partners” but then, in my intensely analytical mind, I wondered: 

If we are partners, and we are equal, why would one part of the team receive a different name? 

Must I say the care partner living with dementia and the care partner that does not have dementia? Seems convoluted. 

A second proposal suggested dropping “Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias” (we added the latter part a few years ago) and just saying “dementia”. My fear is that dropping Alzheimer’s disease indicates a lack of significance even though 75%+ of all dementias are AD. What do you think – am I just being too word-picky or do terms matter?