Though you strive to give your aging parent independence for as long as possible, it may eventually become necessary to move them into your home. The process can be stressful, especially if your loved one is resistant to the idea - but it will be a lot easier with a little preparation. Use this checklist to get your home, family, and loved one ready for the transition:
Assess Your Space
Ideally, you'll want your loved one to have access to a bedroom, bathroom, and living area on the same level of your home. Do your best to rearrange your space to accommodate this layout. If this isn't possible, and your loved one has mobility issues, you might have to look into installing dual stair rails or a stairlift.
Make the Bathroom Accessible
Fall risk is a big concern when you move an older loved one into your home, so you'll want to make sure you have proper accessibility tools in place. Relatively cheap items - like an elevated toilet seat and shower grab bars - may be all you need. But if you need to accommodate a walker or wheelchair, check out this post for some affordable ideas on how to do so.
Do a Safety Inspection
Go through your home and look for issues that might be a trip hazard or may make it more difficult to get around. Is the lighting good? Are there any partially blocked doorways? Do you need night lights? Make a list of any changes that need to be made and address those issues before your loved one moves in.
Create a Personal Space
Moving is always tough, but it's a little easier if your new place has a few of your favorite things. Work with your loved one to choose several items they can't bear to part with - whether it's a favorite chair or a handful of pictures - and figure out how to incorporate them into their new living space. If need be, you can also look into storage options for the rest of their belongings.
Prepare Your Family
Sit down with your children and talk to them about what your loved one needs. For example, if you have young kids, you may need to instruct them to be quieter at certain times or not to leave their toys around in places where they could become a trip hazard. Also, make sure you and your spouse are on the same page. Discuss any potential challenges that could arise, and come up with a game plan on how to handle them.
Plan Around Pets
If you have pets, make sure you have a plan for how to keep their toys, food dishes, and so on out of the way. If your loved one has pets, do your absolute best to accommodate them. It's difficult to lose a pet, especially in the midst of other big life changes. If you both have pets, make sure you introduce them to each other in a controlled way and that they get along before moving day.
These steps will help your loved one transition seamlessly from living alone to living with your family.
Having an older parent live with you can be challenging at times, but it can also be very rewarding. The closeness that comes from sharing a home will help your family and your parent develop a strong bond that's good for everyone's emotional wellness.
Need help caring for a loved one?
Book respite care at SecondSenior.