Bringing your parent to live with you
It can be difficult to know when a senior parent or family member needs extra help. When that time comes, though, many people may opt to move older family members into their own home, rather than opt for another long-term care option. If this applies to you and your family, you may need to take some time to adjust your home, and your lifestyle, to living with a senior loved one. To make this transition easier, here are a few steps to consider taking.
Help Seniors Feel Comfortable in Their New Home
It’s important to set up your house to help your loved one feel safe, but you also want your house to really feel like a home. One way you can help your family member settle in quickly is to encourage them to play card games with their friends. You can even make plans to host game nights every week or month, but check with your loved one to see what will work better. Since you will also be welcoming other seniors into your home on these nights, make sure to set up the events in a room that is well lit, free of clutter and can be adjusted to accommodate any special needs of the attendees. If you haven’t already, it may also be helpful to have a more in-depth conversation with your loved one about their move, so they can have time to process any emotions and adjust major lifestyle changes.
Make a Plan for Decluttering and Storing Belongings
One of the most challenging moving tasks for seniors is dealing with years of accumulated belongings. You can ease this transition by staying patient through the moving process and being prepared to safely store the items your loved one would like to keep. You can consider buying a steel storage building, which is a simple, durable, and cost-effective solution for the belongings your loved one doesn’t wish to part with. Of course, it’s really best to help your loved one sort through and downsize as much as possible before moving, to avoid having clutter pile up in your home. Aside from being an eyesore, clutter can also pose some very serious health risks to seniors, including added stress and fall hazards.
Create a Detailed Plan to Manage Your Senior’s Move
If you can help your loved one downsize household goods, you can make moving so much easier. Still, your family member will likely need some help planning out the rest of the details around their move. You can use a senior move planner to make sure neither of you miss an important step, like updating address information for benefits. Print this checklist out and go over each step with your loved one as moving day approaches. If you have a busy schedule, you can also hire a senior move manager to help with all the steps involved. These pros also have the training to make downsizing and transitioning to a less independent lifestyle less stressful for older adults. So, hiring one could be beneficial for you and your loved one.
Plan to Make Accessibility Changes to Your Home
One of the most important ways to prepare your home for a senior loved one is to go through a checklist of necessary aging in place modifications. These changes will make your home safer and more comfortable for an aging parent or family member. Take a walk through your home and check for any fall hazards, such as uneven lighting, loose carpets, and of course, clutter. You may also want to check your bathroom to ensure that fall risks are reduced there as well. It can be helpful to install grab bars around any slippery areas, such as the tub and toilet, as well as placing a seat in the shower to avoid falls when bathing. Download our accessibility guides for more information on aging in place bathroom, kitchen, stair or transfer options for the home.
Making plans to make a senior loved one feel safe and welcome in your home is such a thoughtful gesture. Just be sure that making those changes doesn’t cause you more stress. Use the tips above to make adjusting to this new arrangement easier for all.
This article was written by Hazel Bridges – an advocate of health and wellness for seniors.
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