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Living with the Elderly: Preparing Your Home and Your Heart

The number of families with senior parents who can no longer support themselves and live alone is now at an alarming rate. Although enlisting them to home care facilities could be the best option, some families may not have the financial capability to support it. It could also be a difficult transition for both families and elders. Thus, some would choose to take them in.

Bringing an aging parent into your house requires careful thought by all family members and concerned relatives. The addition of a new member to any home will lead to significant changes for everyone involved. Of course, there a few points to remember before inviting your folks to live with you. From ensuring that your current house has enough space to accommodate them comfortably and having a safe nook for every household member, several considerations must be made before moving them in with you.

Be patient

We all want familiarity, comfort, and security in our homes. To be uprooted, even in the most pleasant setting conceivable, may be emotionally and psychologically taxing. Frustration and despair are frequently experienced by seniors who have lost their capabilities to live alone.

Thus, patience and compassion are required when dealing with elderly parents who are relocating to your house. Concentrate on their concerns and needs and avoid getting involved in conflicts that might exacerbate the circumstances for everyone. Note that it could take weeks or even months to establish a schedule that works for them and your family.

In this setting, you are taking on the “adult roles”; thus, it’s crucial to politely remind your folks that boundaries are made to look out for their health, safety, and best interests. Let them know that they must adhere to each of the limits and strict rules you establish. Setting your own guidelines can aid in the transition phase for all household members.

Safety should be your priority

One of the primary motivations for family members to move their elderlies to their homes is to guarantee their safety. However, that doesn’t stop there. It is not enough to simply have them with you under the same roof.

If you plan to buy a bigger house to accommodate your growing needs, consider hiring a home inspection expert to help you determine hidden issues or house hazards you may have overlooked. Check every area and space to see if modifications, repairs, upgrades, and other improvements are necessary to avoid accidents and dangers.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, falls are the frequent causes of accidents at home for senior citizens, with about 3 million cases recorded each year. Thus, your current railings should be checked for sturdiness and stability. If needed, extra rails should be added in areas with a potential safety hazard, such as stairwells and the bathroom. It would help if you also considered bathroom renovations and upgrades that involve installing a suitable shower system that would help your elderly loved one take a bath with minimal steps and provide complete support.

When elders move into a new home, it can be challenging for them to adjust, particularly at night. You should ensure that all corridors and common spaces are well lit. For example, if your dad needs to go to the bathroom or get something to drink in the middle of the night, having a well-lit hallway will help prevent trips and falls from occurring. If you find this addition to be taxing and costly, you can install lamps or a motion detector system that automatically activates lights when someone walks into a room.

Don’t let them feel left out

Social isolation, anxiety, and loneliness are among the most significant variables associated with depression and other health issues among seniors. When you decide to move them in with you, you will have plenty of chances to spend time and bond with them. However, once they’ve adjusted, it’s critical to ensure that they feel included and a functioning member of the unit.

You can choose to eat meals together regularly, carve out time in your busy schedule to have a picnic outside and bond with them and with your children, or even assign them some light house chores to help them feel more involved. It is critical for elders to feel needed as assurance that they are still valuable, have a purpose in life, and have a sense of achievement.

Everyone wants to ensure that their aging parents are adequately cared for so that they may enjoy their senior years to the fullest. Preparing your house and having a heart-to-heart talk with them and your family about what to expect from living together will help you set the tone and harmonize your living situation.

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