In this blog post, I’d like to tell you why we’re offering free house cleanings to the caregivers of dementia and Alzheimer’s patients. The journey down this road is a difficult one for the family, especially the caregiver, and the patient. It is, for this very reason, that Saltaire House Cleaning is helping the families affected by Alzheimer’s and dementia.
My experience with dementia
Dad was one of the best cooks I know. One of my favorites was his chili. I still remember the smell of the onions, garlic and ground beef slowly simmering in this giant pot all day long. As I got older and started cooking for myself, I would ask him to write down the recipe so I could make it at home. He always told me the same thing, “I don’t have a recipe. I just add the ingredients until it tastes right”. I literally begged him to write it down while he cooked. One of the saddest days in my life was the day my father asked me if I could find him a good chili recipe.
Doctors diagnosed my father with vascular dementia in 2012. By this time, the signs were very obvious. It started out with him forgetting the little things like the keys for the car, or where he parked at the shopping mall. We didn’t think much of it at that time. After all, he was in his mid-seventies back then. I mean, stuff like this happens to everybody, right?
As the months went on, the grip of dementia got stronger. Something as simple as a trip to the supermarket became troublesome. He would get to the store only to forget why he went out. It was then that our family started to realize that there was an underlying problem.
I’ve often thought how it might feel having my most cherished memories stolen from me, one by one. It’s hard to imagine how my dad feels since he has recently forgotten the words that we all take for granted. I can only imagine how terrible it must be for him.
Dad’s Primary Caregiver – My Mother
Living with the effects of scleroderma is not an easy life. Back in the 1980’s, doctors diagnosed her with the systemic type . While I don’t think I’ve ever heard her complain about it, I know it’s not easy for her. I’ve always said that my mom was one of a kind. In fact, systemic scleroderma only affects about 20 people out of 1 million.
For those of you who may not know, scleroderma is an autoimmune disease which attacks the connective tissues in the body. For example, the skin, lungs, blood vessels and internal organs may develop fibrous growth which can be painful, or even prevent proper functioning in the affected areas.
Naturally, my mother assumed the role of primary caregiver as my father’s dementia progressed. As if battling scleroderma wasn’t hard enough, she also is responsible for keeping track of his doctor’s appointments, rationing out his meds, organizing his clothes and a host of other things that need to get accomplished every day.
I usually see them once a week. When I go, I can see how difficult it is for her. Since my father’s dementia got worse and worse, my mother went from having his help with the daily routine to having to do everything for both of them. The physical toll of having to help him get dressed and shower was incredible.
One day, my father’s knee gave out on him and my mother just did not have the physical strength to pick him up. This was the turning point for them. She knew she needed to outsource some of the help taking care of him.
Help For Alzheimer’s and Dementia Patients
Since the diagnosis of dementia, my mother has managed to recruit all of the help that is available to them. The VA sends help once a week to help with things like getting my father in and out of the shower and preparing meals. They also help with light house cleaning. This is helpful because she doesn’t have the physical strength.
The Parker Institute gives grants that can be used for day programs or nursing home care.
The Alzheimer’s Institute gives patients a one time grant for $1000 that can be used towards day care or in home companions.
Hilarity for Charity also provides in home companions for 25 hours a week for three months a year.
All of these programs are very helpful. They give her a little time to relax by herself while he gets the care that he needs. Unfortunately, nobody really provides them with a good, professional house cleaning.
Free House Cleanings For Alzheimer’s and Dementia Patients
Living with dementia or Alzheimer’s disease in the family can be a very difficult experience for the caregivers. I do the best that I can to keep my parent’s life stress free. Going over on weekends to take them out for lunch, help them clean the house, or just sit and chat is easy for me but I know that dementia and Alzheimer’s is not easy to live with.
Helping my parents has made me realize that there are many other families that could also use some assistance around the house. This is why Saltaire House Cleaning is giving free house cleanings to Alzheimer’s and dementia caregivers.
For the first five months of 2018 we will offer three hours worth of free house cleanings to two patients a month. The free house cleanings will run for two consecutive months per patient.
We will perform the free house cleanings on a first come first served basis.All you need to do is:
First, fill out our contact form explaining your needs.
Second, provide a physicians note confirming that you or a family member is under care for Alzheimer’s or dementia. You can do this anytime before we schedule the free house cleanings.
Third, give us a flexible range of dates and times that the house is available for cleaning.
Please feel free to share this with anyone you know who may need help with their house cleaning and has been under medical care for Alzheimer’s or dementia.