As an adult with a family of your own, perhaps you may begin thinking about whether your elderly parents can, or should, move in with you. This situation arises for many families, in which an elderly relative becomes incapable of taking care of themselves alone, and requires collective care from their family to be comfortable and safe.
If you are in this situation and are wondering whether you and your kids are emotionally and physically prepared to accommodate this change. Let’s take a look at how to best prepare to have an elderly relative move into your family home.
The emotional preparation
Emotionally speaking, the preparation period for moving an elderly relative into your home can be quite strenuous. To see your parents become older and less mobile, less cognitively efficient and less “themselves” can be very difficult to get your head around. While we all know that this is something that will happen as our parents age, being faced with the reality of aging is a tough pill to swallow sometimes.
To emotionally prepare for this shift, you should definitely consider counselling. In addition, taking the time to discuss the change, and what it could mean emotionally for the family with your kids is a crucial step.
Changing the layout of your home
Accommodating a person with limited mobility or a disability as a permanent resident in your home means you will need to make adjustments. Here are some layout changes to consider in order to accommodate your elderly relative comfortably and safely while they live with you.
- Installing a threshold ramp for the front door. If your relative is a wheelchair user or struggles with stairs, it might be wise to install threshold ramps that allows them to easily go in and out of the house without much assistance.
- Creating a bedroom downstairs. If the person struggles with mobility, one way to ease this cause of pain and anxiety is by giving them the necessary facilities all on one floor. This can be done by creating a bedroom downstairs that allows them to be able to move between rooms during the day and night without using the stairs.
- Removing excess furniture and trip hazards. For someone with less mobility, it is important to remove any items that could be hazardous. Things like childrens’ toys, pet equipment like bones, or other small items that could easily be stepped on or tripped over should be stored safely away.
The family dynamic will be altered
All families have a rhythm that they have become accustomed to. When you bring another person into the mix, particularly a vulnerable individual who means a lot to you, it can change the dynamic of the family, by adding pressure in certain areas. Make sure you prepare for your family dynamic and routines to shift as you welcome your elderly relative into your home for this period of time.
Overall, preparing for a new person in your home can always be somewhat challenging – but ultimately this act of love will be a great service to your family.