How to Adapt Your Home When Elderly Parents are Moving in

How to Adapt Your Home When Elderly Parents are Moving in
  • Opening Intro -

    It is not rare that the time comes for us to return the favor and care for our elderly parents just as they did for us when we were young.

    This is a life-changing moment for all members of the household so you need to do your best to make it as smooth as possible.

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Your parents are probably not too thrilled either but you have a responsibility of keeping them happy and safe. There is a number of things you can do to make them feel comfortable and welcome when they come but here are a few basic ones.

Keep Them Firmly Grounded

The best place for your senior is at the ground floor. If there are no available bedrooms on the floor, try to make one. This depends on your funds but there are several things that can be done. You can adapt your attic to create a spare room for the person, presumably a child, who is using the one on the ground floor.

If there are no bedrooms at all, you can build an extension or you can change the purpose of certain rooms. Knock down some walls and build new ones to create an additional room out of the existing space. Another thing that may be an issue here is a bathroom, you need one on the same level as the bedroom.

Allow Them to Function Independently …

… as much as they can considering their health. Remember the first milestones of independence as a child, being able to walk on your own, and being able to eat by yourself and to use the bathroom. Let’s try to maintain as much as we can of that and enable them to, first of all, use the bathroom without your assistance.

Step number one would be to replace your tub with a walk-in shower. Even if they are still walking OK, it is much easier than having to jump in a bath. Install grab bars, next to the toilet, in the shower, next to the sink if needed. You can have a shower chair and a non-slip mat in the shower. Be sure to use anti-slip tape on all slippery surfaces, in this case, bathroom tiles.

Help Them Move Around

This is particularly important if we are talking about a wheelchair user. Not being able to walk is probably hard enough without having obstacles blocking your way. First of all, equip your house with a ramp at the very entrance and add handrails next to the ramp and the stairs. Make ground floor doors wide enough for the wheelchair to go through. Rescon Builders recommend making doors 36 inches wide. Make sure you do not leave things lying around and rearrange your furniture so it allows enough space for the wheelchair to move around. If necessary, get rid of those pieces of furniture which do not get used a lot.

Change the Hardware

These are little things we do not even pay attention to. A good test is to try opening things with one hand while holding a glass. Replace your doorknobs with lever door handles. There are different types of windows specially constructed for disability and low dexterity.

Try to replace at least some of the ground floor windows with these or try to adapt the existing ones. Also, there is an option of getting automatic doors and windows but they are a bit pricier. Look into getting new handles for kitchen drawers and cupboards to make them easier to use.

Keep Them Safe When You Are Not Around

I am not sure how many members does your household have and whether you can fit your schedules so as to always have someone at home. This is probably a lot of hustle for everyone and let’s not forget that your senior parent may be capable of leaving the house on their own. First of all, have them use a mobile phone device and carry it at all times. Get a telecare service, and door and window sensors to keep them safe when they are inside and on their own.

Make Them Feel At Home

This is the part where we once again look at the fact that this must be a great change for your parents. In order to keep them happy, ask them to select some of their favorite things and pieces of furniture to take along when they move in. This will help them feel at home and make the transfer smoother.

Refer to your council to obtain information about assistance on financing. You may be able to get a return on certain expenses or get a loan at affordable terms. Good communication among the members of your household as it is now is a key to happy living. Help each other out and make sure everyone’s needs are met. Once all of you get over the actual move, things will fall into place and feel more natural.

Home Remodeling reference:

AMAZON: elderly parent sensors

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