With the Baby Boomers rapidly aging into their golden years, more and more families are dealing with parents that can no longer live independently. Retirement or assisted living facilities can be expensive and a harsh change that many families and seniors would rather avoid.
The decision to bring a senior parent into your home takes careful consideration involving all the members of your family. Adding another member to any household will result in big changes for everyone. Before you bring your parents to your home, there are a few things that you should be considering.
From making sure that you have enough room in your home to comfortably accommodate your parents to taking a CPR course from Newcastle training to prepare you for any emergency; there are many things that need to be addressed before moving a senior parent into your home.
It’s likely that your parents will not be happy about being forced to leave their homes. Home is where we all draw our comfort and being uprooted, even to the most comfortable situation possible can be emotionally stressful. Feelings of resentment and depression can be common in seniors that have lost their ability to live independently.
Dealing with a senior parent as they make the transition into your home will require patience and understanding. Focus on their needs and don’t get drawn into arguments that can make the situation worse for everyone. It may take anywhere from several weeks to a few months for your parents to settle into a routine that is comfortable for them.
Setting boundaries is important in any relationship. Reassure your parents that you have their safety and best interests at heart. But, make sure that they are clear that they are now living in your home and must follow the rules respectfully. This doesn’t mean that compromises can’t be made to accommodate everyone, however, setting limitations and rules can help with the adjustment for everyone.
One of the main reasons that adult children want to bring a senior parent into their home is to protect their safety. Simply having your parents under the same roof is not necessarily enough to keep them safe. Take a look around your home to determine what changes and updates need to be made for your parents.
Existing handrails should be inspected for stability and additional rails should be installed in areas that could be a safety risk including any stairways and your bathroom. Your bathroom should be updated to include the proper tub/shower installation that requires little stepping and full support.
It can be difficult for seniors to adjust to their new surroundings, especially at night. Your parents may need to get up in the night so it’s important to make sure that all hallways and common areas are properly lit to avoid trip and fall incidents. You can easily install light timers or a motion sensor system that will turn on lights when anyone enters the room.
One of the most prominent factors in senior depression is loneliness. When you decide to bring your senior parent into your home, you will be getting the opportunity to share more of your time with them. Once they are settled in, it’s important to make sure that they feel like a functional and important part of the family.
Always share meals together when possible, take time out of your schedule to spend quality time together, and even give them a few responsibilities around the house. A sense of purpose and accomplishment is important to help seniors feel useful.
Embrace the knowledge of your senior parent and encourage them to use their skills in their new home. Make sure that they have everything that they need to continue pursuing any hobbies or crafting to help them make the adjustment. Creating a reading library, a personal tv in their room, or a tool shed can help your parents feel included in the family while giving them the opportunity to follow their interests.
Your parents are used to having their home to themselves and may find it hard to adjust to sharing a home. It’s important that you have enough space to give your parents the privacy that they need. A private bedroom where your parents can have their own space is best.
Setting your parents up with their own television and entertainment space can give them the ability to watch what they want without having to worry about the rest of the family. A dedicated phone line or personal smartphone can allow your parents to communicate privately and independently.
We all want to make sure that our older parents are well taken care of so that they can enjoy their retirement years. Before you make the move to take in your senior parent. it’s important to prepare your home and your heart so that your whole family can enjoy and benefit from living together.