Alzheimer’s Caregiving in a “Green” Way
Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia disrupt memory and may complicate work for their caregivers. However, you can still engage your loved one with green living practices and reduce your carbon footprint together. In fact, nearly every aspect of care can be approached in an eco-friendly way, leaving a lasting and positive impact on the environment.
Modify the home of your loved one using recycled materials
A variety of outlets, including Habitat For Humanity, offer recycled building materials at reduced cost. In addition to that try switching shower heads to a low flow shower wand, which is more effective than a mounted shower head for older individuals and will also use less water. Ramps can be easily built using scrap wood and the same goes for railings, as long as the wood is in good shape and the construction is done correctly to ensure total stability.
Choose local food that is grown and harvested sustainably
The local food movement has gained momentum worldwide, giving consumers access to food that contains fewer chemicals and pesticides and requires less transportation to market. Health food stores, farmer’s markets and farm stands can provide you with grass-fed beef and organic produce to nourish your loved one in a conscientious way. It’s common knowledge that the older one gets the more important nutrition is, so choosing fresh (and local) fruits and vegetables is an important facet of care taking.
Perform daily living checks with smart technology to reduce fuel consumption.
Instead of driving back and forth on a daily basis for simple checks, consider using modern technology to accomplish this task. Cameras, vital sign monitors and medication dispensers can be connected to your smart phone with the right equipment and software so you can keep a watchful eye on your loved one even when you’re not there.
Choose biodegradable and recyclable products, such as cloth adult diapers
Older individuals are often interested in supporting sustainability but may not be accustomed to green living. By educating them on this topic and how their choices have a direct impact on the environment, you can give them a satisfying activity that helps them leave the world a better place. A good way to do this is choosing cloth or biodegradable diapers, which are highly preferable to conventional plastic types, which now account for a stunning 7 percent of landfill waste.
Choose an environmentally friendly assisted living facility.
More centers for assisted living are handling daily operations in sustainable ways. Solar panels, geothermal heating and on-site food production are three options that these facilities can use to not only serve the earth but also save money over time. Also ask if they’re working with an environmentally friendly energy provider. If they don’t use any of these practices discuss with them the possibility of trying out some activities with their residents to reduce their environmental impact and engage the residents like planting a garden.
Your elderly loved one is probably very comfortable using natural cleaners such as vinegar,which were once common but have largely been replaced with artificial chemical products. Numerous natural products are available in almost every supermarket to keep your loved one’s home clean while guarding their health and the environment.
Use native plants for landscaping instead of exotic foliage.
Gardening with native flowers and other plants can beautify landscapes while supporting ecological balance and, as stated before, is beneficial for the elderly. For example, local varieties of flowers will attract and feed native butterflies and birds. Furthermore, local plants eliminate the need for pesticides, herbicides and fertilizers that pollute the water and air.
Care for your loved one’s pet with environmentally friendly choices.
Choose natural pet toys, pet foods and shampoo to keep your loved one and their animal companion happy and healthy. Use recycled cat litter brands like Yesterday’s News, buy biodegradable bags for dog feces and clear ice from outdoor walkways in winter with pet-safe products like Safe Paw for effective solutions that minimize environmental impact.
As life expectancy has continued to increase, concerns over environmental impact have been raised. Green care practices are smart on local and global levels while reducing spending and supporting a high quality of life in the homes of patients with Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia. At any age, these changes also support a positive outlook for those interested in sustainability and a brighter future.