5 Ways to Help a Senior Love One Adjust to Living With You
By: Harry Cline
Looking to move your senior parent or loved one into your home? You’re not alone. Many older adults look to family members for a safe, comfortable place to live as they age. If your loved one is looking to you for assistance, here are some steps you can take to ensure your home is prepared, presented by Home Care 4 Seniors.
You May Be Able to Get Help with Some Home Modifications
Before you start making changes to your home, check to see what, if any, if upgrades are covered by your loved one’s health benefits. For instance, grab bar costs may not be covered by Medicare or Medicare Advantage, but items like chair lifts and canes are in some cases. These items are considered durable medical equipment (DME). Another option to consider is swapping out an old bathtub with a walk-in shower or tub that opens to allow a no-step entry. Veterans may also be able to access VA grants that can help with the costs of needed home modifications. Remember, your goal is to retrofit your home with features that make it convenient, accessible, and safe.
You Can Add Smart Home Tech to Keep Your Loved One Safe
Many seniors move in with family due to medical or safety concerns. If this is the case for your loved one, you should know that smart home upgrades can help you both stay safe and comfortable. There are several gadgets that can make life easier for seniors, but one of the most beneficial changes you can make is to add smart lighting. Self-adjusting lights can prevent seniors from falling and most systems are easy and inexpensive to install. If they have been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease, you may also want to consider specialty monitors and tech that can help prevent wandering as well as other home accidents. Their primary health care provider is an excellent resource and can help you determine the best and most cost-effective additions to your tech arsenal.
You Should Definitely Declutter and Organize Your Entire Home
Low lighting is a common source of falls for older adults, but clutter can cause problems as well. disorganization in the home can present tripping hazards for seniors, so it’s important to clean things up if you want to prevent dangerous falls. Pick any smaller items up off the floor and try to arrange furniture so that your elderly roommate can move about unobstructed. You may also need to help your senior family member downsize and declutter his/her own belongings. Start this process well ahead of time to allow for time to process the changes. If you don’t have the extra time, you can also rent a storage unit until you can sort through everything.
Ensure That Bathrooms Are Free from Fall Hazards Too
Even bright lighting and clear walkways can go a long way in reducing senior falls. Bathrooms, however, can present hazards for the elderly as well. So, make sure that any bathrooms your family member will have access to have fall prevention features in place. Installing the grab bars mentioned above around showers, tubs and bathrooms is a simple upgrade that can increase safety. Also consider a toilet seat riser, which is easier to get up and down from and may help prevent lightheadedness.
You May Each Need Some Time to Adjust to the Move and Changes
There are many reasons why a senior may need to live with family. Whatever your loved one’s reasons are, know that there are some steps you can take to help him/her settle into this new lifestyle. The most important of these is to exercise kindness and patience. Not only is your loved one relocating, but he/she may also struggle with the loss of independence. Allow your family member time to process these emotions, but also make sure you are taking care of yourself too. If you are a new caregiver, this can help you avoid caregiver burnout and stress.
Remember that if all else fails and you’ve done everything you can to care for your loved one, there are nursing home options that you can explore. This, of course, will be a difficult decision for all involved, so it’s important to discuss this option openly with your loved one to ensure you’re both on the same page. Once you’ve reached an understanding, begin to look for nursing homes in and around Dallas. Sites like SeniorCare can help you explore all of the different options in the area, as well as look at ratings to see how these facilities rank.
Having a senior loved one live with you is such a major life change. So, use the steps above to make sure your home is ready, and take some time to help yourself and your loved one prepare for this big move as well.
If you need around-the-clock assistance for your loved one, get in touch with Home Care 4 Seniors. To learn more about our services and how we work, call 214-621-1969.
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