Kitchen remodel when Mom is in early stages of Alzheimer's. Any suggestions?

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Hi everyone, my mom’s in the early stages of Alzheimer’s. She has lived with us going on 5 years, my DH husband retired early to be her caregiver. We’ve put off as long as we could a kitchen remodel-cabinets, countertop, flooring, etc. We’ve been told the oh can take up to 2-3 months. Mom has her routine (Morning: coffee, crossword puzzle and she makes her breakfast; She makes her lunch and snacks) when she gets off it she gets flustered and sometimes agitated. We’ve talked about the remodel with her, showed her pictures -really getting her involved on what the process will be and how we will create a makeshift kitchen. Sorry for the drawn out background, I guess it’s the nurturer in me. We have two dogs (who both have become “service dogs” and mom’s pals). She takes them out, which means walking through the area which will have workers to let them out.
My DH is panicked that this will be more of an issue than we have envisioned. That this will add a bit more confusion and not sure if he can handle the day to day dealings with contractor/laborers in and out of house and Mom (trying to learn the new way around the makeshift kitchen). Has anyone gone through such a major remodel and if so how did you survive? I guess it’s an undertaking and getting use to a new norm even without having a parent with Alzheimer’s.

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Top Answer
Remodeling can stress out normal, calm people, especially people who are very routine oriented. So you’ll be taking a chance with your mom, her routine keeps her functioning since she has dementia.

No one can really predict problems but you have some fairly serious potential problems here. 

I went through a similar experience (remodeling) that brought on an inevitable divorce. But boy, it was the straw that broke the camel’s back! 

Let us know how it goes and good luck!
Flutter - your Dhubs is oh so right to be worried!! -Isn’t the situation that your mom having major dizziness issues and she on 2 - 3 BP drugs? Plus early dementia and 2 inside dogs.....

Here’s my suggestions, unless you live in Hawaii, I’d wait on the Reno till winter is beyond over. It’s going to be beyond a mess, especially with floors removed. So gonna be cold & even if kitchen is visqueened & sealed, cold & dust will escape. Realize all that plastic can look spooky for mom & the dogs. If it’s really freezing, the guys will not show up & that’s what it is. If it’s like just really cold, they’ll show up but expect either contractor style portable heaters to be running (so snaking of extension cords & wider heating elements) or your central heat will be on constant overdrive. 2 - 3 months....hmmmm, kitchen Reno if it’s a swap out Reno should be 1, 2 or maybe 3 weeks from a crew who are kitchen pros & the new appliances & cabinets are in & awaiting. If they quoted 2 -3 months, I’m guessing it’s a more to the studs contractor job..... so not a Reno but more a rebuild so new Sheetrock, cabinet skeletons, plus electrical AND plumbing subs needed. If this is an pre 1980 house, I’d bet a case of Processo there going to be foundation and settlement issues uncovered.  going to be more cost, time and everybody unglued from mom to the dogs.

I’d be really concerned who you hired IF if if your Reno guy said that you, hubs, elderly mom, dogs walking around in thier area was ok & not an issue for them. Also there highly exists the possibility that workers are going to be speaking languages other than English & with radio / music in that language played from the start of the day. Not everyone appreciates Reggaton at 7AM. Mom with dementia may have seriously bad stranger fear with the workers.

Really wait till better weather as you can sit outside to eat. Hell even do an outdoor kitchen set up that remains for you all to use this summer & forever. Hubs as the retired to be a caregiver for your Mom deserves it! 
I appreciate that you say you've put off this remodel as long as you can; but I must admit I'm wondering what the emergency can be. Do you absolutely, definitely have to do this now? - it could spell the end of your mother's making her own breakfast and lunch, you know.
Good points above. I'd certainly wait on better weather and double or triple the amount of time they estimate. Sorry, to sound negative, but these things normally are a real pain and not what you expect. Good luck though. A new kitchen is a dream of mine!

I wouldn't have much expectation in how your mom might adjust. I'd be surprised if she is able to learn new routine, layout, gadgets, etc. I mean, she may, except that with dementia, there seems to be a very limited ability to learn new material. Old routine may be grounded in solid, but, new material......I'd discuss it with her doctor and read a lot online, but, I'd be realistic about it. Still, I'd not delay my new kitchen too long. You deserve it.
Also if possible put in an Induction Cooking system.
So much more efficient. But another takeaway with Induction is that it’s very very safe. No exposed flame, escaping gas, or things catching fire. Cool down surface time is short too.
I would find a nice AM and send mom for a month of respite.

Seriously. Kitchen renovation can bring the strongest of us to tears!

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