3 Crucial Steps to Prepare Your Home and Life for a Senior Family Member
When an elderly family member moves into your home, there are changes that need to be made as soon as possible. These include modifications to your home, and changes in your and your loved one’s routine — and procrastination will only make these changes more difficult to execute. With some essential preparation, however, this can be a smooth transition for your entire family. Start with this step-by-step guide from John Starke when getting your home ready to welcome a senior loved one.
Make Physical Changes to Your Home
You will likely need to make several senior-friendly modifications to your home. If these home upgrades exceed your budget, you will be happy to know that there are several financing options that can help offset expenses. For example, you can refinance your home or get government-related financial assistance. Do some research to decide which financial assistance is best for you.
There are so many options available. You’ll likely qualify for some kind of financial assistance to make any necessary renovations. These changes can include replacing conventional tubs with walk-in showers or adding more lighting under kitchen cabinets and along walkways. Major changes can take some serious funding and effort to complete, but there are simple modifications you can do on your own, like installing grab bars.
Lastly, consider adding a few home security systems to your home, including external lighting and a doorbell camera. Not only will these items help your senior family member feel more comfortable in their home, but they’ll also provide you with peace of mind as well.
Declutter and Downsize Your Senior’s Stuff
Before you can comfortably move your elderly loved one into your own home, you need to make sure their belongings will fit. That typically means helping seniors declutter and sorting through all of their furniture, furnishings, and other items. Just keep in mind that while these might merely be material objects to you, to your senior loved one, they often represent memories. Seniors can become very emotional and attached to their belongings, so try to be patient and start the decluttering process early enough to properly handle these difficult situations.
If helping your parent or loved one downsize becomes too stressful, you can also enlist professional help. For example, Caregiver notes that senior move managers are trained to handle all aspects of this type of transition, and they are better equipped to respond to complicated moments with compassion and patience. If you need to move your loved one into your home right away, you can also look into renting a storage unit, so you can safely relocate their belongings until you have more time to sort through it in the future. Just ask the right questions before renting to find the right unit.
Adjust to Multi-Generational Living
Having a senior parent move into your home may seem like a simple transition, but there can also be some complicated emotions involved in this process, too. Before he/she moves in, take some time to think through a few important considerations. Marketwatch notes that adding another person to your household will cause expenses to go up. First of all, make sure that your home really will provide the safest environment for your aging parent. Because even with aging in place modifications, living at home can present some challenges for senior safety, especially for those with Alzheimer’s or dementia.
You should also have an open, honest discussion with your parents, so you can make essential decisions around budgeting and the role your parents will play in your household. Sunrise Senior Living notes that taking the time to set healthy boundaries with your loved one may feel uncomfortable, but it can relieve stress for both you and your senior family member. So don’t skip this vital step.
Moving a senior relative into your home can be a major transition for everyone involved, but it doesn’t have to be stressful. Use the tips above to take some of the tension out of the changes involved, but try to remember that this is a big step for every member of your family. Most importantly, it can be an especially emotional step for your seniors, so try to remain patient and compassionate throughout the process.
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