Month: January 2010

Mother In Law Suite Garage Conversion: First Steps

Are you considering converting your garage into a convenient elder care floor plan? You can use this simple formula to see if the square footage of your garage is large enough for a mother in-law suite. To find the square footage of your garage space you must measure the inside width and  depth of the garage. You can calculate the width of the garage by measuring from side wall to side wall. For the depth measure from the parting wall between the garage and the living area to the garage overhead door. For convenience you can round off your measurements to the nearest foot. Next take the width and multiply it times the depth. The product will be the square footage of usable space. Example 20 feet wide x 23 feet deep equals 460 square feet. (20’x 23’= 460sqft) Garage In-Law Suite Minimum Dimensions You should be in a range of 350 to 900 square feet to create a comfortable in-law suite floor plan. The low end of the range would be adequate for a bedroom, bathroom and small limited kitchen/eating area. On the high end of the range it could be adequate for a large bedroom, handicap bathroom, living room, full service kitchen, comfortable eating area, separate entrance, utility room, etc. The more spacious and/or more rooms required naturally the more square footage you will need. Garage In-Law...

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Dementia Care – How to Identify Pain in Dementia Patients

It isn’t always easy to identify pain in an elderly person who has Dementia. A person with dementia (or Alzheimers) can’t always tell you they have a toothache or remember how they got hurt in the first place. However, anyone can become a better pain detective when they know what to watch for. Signs Of Pain For Dementia Care: A change in facial expression. Is the person grimacing? Are they wearing a slight frown or sad looking face? A distorted expression or sudden rapid blinking can be indicators of pain. Verbalizing or making unusual sounds. Watch for heavy sighs or moans and groans. Sudden calling out or verbally abusive outbursts can be puzzling behaviors but they are sometimes the only way a demented person can express that they are hurting. New or unusual body movements. From obvious gait or mobility problems to rocking back and forth, there are many ways a person could be using body language to “tell you” they are in pain. Watch for increased fidgeting or pacing. Pattern changes in daily activities. Sudden changes in appetite or not wanting to eat should be noted, especially if the change persists. Wanting to sleep or rest repeatedly can also point to chronic pain. Unfortunately, dementia itself comes with the risk of developing a painful condition, with decreased mobility being the major culprit. First, there is the increased risk...

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What is Alzheimers Disease?

Alzheimers Disease, or senile dementia, is a degenerative brain disease to which elderly people are particularly prone. Not only does it cause great stress to sufferers, but it places massive demands on caregivers. World-wide, there are over 25 million sufferers in the present day. The Disease Alzheimer’s is the most common form of dementia. It causes damage to neurons and synapses that culminate in atrophy of key areas of the brain. It is believed that plaques and ‘tangles’ visible under the microscope are linked to protein abnormalities. Researchers have pinpointed malfunctioning of the beta-amyloid peptide (a protein component) and tau proteins. Breakdown of the neurotransmitter acetylcholine is also implicated. Though genes that indicate a risk factor for Alzheimer’s have been identified, genetic factors do not fully explain its occurrence. Why the biochemical functioning goes wrong remains poorly understood. Alzheimer’s is a progressive, terminal disease with no cure, though most sufferers die of complications (such as pneumonia) rather than the disease itself. Current drug treatments cannot prevent, slow or reverse the disease process, but are aimed at controlling and minimising symptoms. Alzheimers Symptoms Though symptoms vary amongst individual sufferers, early signs of Alzheimer’s are those we associate with normal ageing: memory loss, mild cognitive impairment and sometimes apathy and a loss of zest for life. Short-term memory is most seriously affected. These early symptoms are often misdiagnosed as normal ageing...

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What is Universal Design?

Are you contemplating designing a home remodeling project or designing a new home? Enter into the planning process asking not only what your needs are now; such as more square footage, upgraded windows and doors, more insulation or greener building components, but also ask yourself “what kind of planning must I do to meet future needs for myself or any family member?” Would the design of your new home or home remodeling allow you to enjoy independent living as long as possible in any situation? To answer yes to these questions you will need to apply the concepts of Universal Design. The intent of Universal Design is to simply life for as many users as possible. Build a home environment more usable for as many different types of people as possible at little or no extra cost. It benefits people of all ages and abilities and strives to create independent living for as long as possible. Sound difficult? It really is not. Common sense is the key. Begin by asking questions about your future. Planning When planning your new home, addition, or remodeling project, remember to ask yourself questions such as those listed below in addition to your usual design choices for style etc. What if the future held a change in life style for me or my family members due to health problems or an accident? What if...

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In Law Suites: Advantages Over Nursing Home Care

If you are considering nursing home care for an aging parent or other family member, you may want to look at an alternative that is as close as your own home. Building a specially designed in-law suite in your home can be a great alternative to costly and impersonal nursing home care, and it pays to seriously consider this option before looking for a nursing home. An in-law suite can be specially laid out to provide all the comforts of home while also providing the safety equipment that is so important for many elderly adults. From specially designed shower and tub enclosures to stair lifts and power chairs, the in-law suite you design can be built with your loved one’s comfort in mind. And the good news is that the entire cost of the renovation may be less than a single year of nursing home care. Just consider some of the compelling benefits of choosing an in-law suite over nursing home care. In Law Suites Cost Less Than Nursing Care Much lower costs – as mentioned above, the entire cost of building an in-law suite or remodeling an existing space in the home can be less than the cost of a single year in a nursing home. Comfort For Your Loved One Greater comfort for your loved ones – nursing homes are many things, but comfortable is generally not...

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