If you have decided to move a loved one in with you, it is time to think about what changes you will need to make to your home. Initial questions you will want to ask yourself include the following:
- How easily can my parents get around in the house?
- How safe is my house?
- What can I do to make this a smooth transition?
Follow the tips below to ensure that your house is completely ready for your loved one to move in.
Tip 1: Make Sure Your House Accommodates Those with Limited Mobility
Before your parents move in, do an inventory of your home and consider the following:
- the location of stairs, bedrooms, and bathrooms
- types of door knobs
- width of doorways
- ability to move from room-to-room with and without assistance
- the number of steps from each room
- how mobile you loved one is today, and the possibility of that mobility decreasing in the future
After this inventory you will want to then identify where your parent will sleep. This may seem like a simple answer, just use the spare bedroom, but you will need to consider location, stairs, size, proximity to the bathroom and other important elements. Keep in mind that even if your parent does not currently have any mobility issues, they may eventually need a wheelchair or other types of mobility assistance (such as a walker, cane or other assistance via a stair lift). For this reason, choosing a ground-level room with easy access may be the best option to start.
For more information, check out our tips on designing a safe bedroom space and functional kitchen for those with limited mobility. If you need to make any physical changes to your house, start by calling a local contractor to discuss cost and timeframe for completion.
Tip 2: Make Sure Your House is Safe
Start by first going through your home and ensuring it is safe for your parent's transition. This may include adjusting the lighting, installing ramps, removing doors, removing obstacles, and making certain items or areas more accessible. An important room to review is the bathroom. To help ensure the bathroom is as safe as possible check out our post “How to Design a Safe Bathroom for Those with Limited Mobility”. You may also want to consider utilizing a home monitoring system in the event of an emergency.
Tip 3: Make it An Easy transition.
Try to accommodate your parent and understand that this will be a change for them as much as for you. Give your parents privacy and make sure you have yours too. Keep your routines as normal and, if possible, incorporate your parent’s routines into the day-to-day activities. Updating the home’s décor to feature some of their furniture, artwork, or other important sentimental items may go a long way in helping your loved one feel at home in your house.
Follow the steps above to get your house ready and make this change in both you and your loved one’s life that much easier.