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Household Chores and Upkeep

One of the symptoms of dementia is someone’s inability to maintain their own living environment as they did in the past. A family member who is acting as an in-home caregiver may notice that their loved one with dementia is no longer keeping the yard tidy or the house neat. The reasons for this change can be that the memory loss makes it increasingly difficult for the person with dementia to stay focused on a task from beginning to end, or it may physically exhaust or overwhelm them to rake the yard or vacuum.

However, an in-home caregiver can carefully plan a simple daily chore routine that can help ease the anxieties of the person with dementia.

The first step is for the in-home caregiver to determine which chores the person with dementia is still capable of doing—perhaps sweeping instead of vacuuming or folding laundry rather than putting away glassware. This is especially key in preventing a person living with dementia from experiencing a dangerous fall. Taking over the more strenuous or hazardous activities can keep them safer.

Also, engaging with these easy tasks near the end of the day can be relaxing and help your loved one to expend their energy in a controlled way that distracts them from anxiety. The physical exertion of folding laundry or dusting during the day can promote a good night’s sleep.

Even if the clothes are hanging inside out and upside down, remember it is important for your loved one to maintain independence. It’s not so important that the chore is done perfectly, but that they have participated.