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Preparing to have a senior loved one live with you is a major task. Not only are there many things for you to do to get ready for the move, but this will also be a significant life change for both you and your family member. More likely than not, your loved one has made this decision due to a change in their health or finances. You may have also opened your home as an alternative to an assisted living facility.
Whatever the specific reason(s), advanced planning is a must to avoid preventable problems that can arise. Budget Fence N Deck shares some of the most essential things you need to know prior to your senior family member’s move-in day.
Talk to your loved one about their needs
Surprisingly, too many individuals overlook the importance of speaking with a loved one about their needs. Caregivers often assume that they know what the individual needs and wants. This can ultimately lead to frustration for all individuals living in the home.
Schedule a time to speak with your loved one about the move-in process. If possible, do this in person rather than over the phone. Have a compassionate dialogue about their feelings related to the move, as well as about their expectations. Inquire about what will make them feel most at home so that you can create an environment that they will love.
Set a budget for all upgrades and changes
More likely than not, you will need to make special modifications to your home for your senior family member. Mobility issues are often the biggest reason for this. Depending on your loved one’s disabilities, you may need to install a ramp that connects with your front door, a walk-in tub, a lift to the second floor, or handheld shower controls.
Senior-friendly upgrades like these can get costly. That’s why it is critical to set a budget for all upgrades and changes that you need to make. Even if your family member offers to pay for these upgrades, it is wise to sit down with this individual and make a financial plan. In the event that you need to pay for some or all of the modifications, one idea to get quick cash is to refinance your mortgage. Refinancing allows you to use the equity that you already have to pay for larger purchases. Alternatively, or in addition to refinancing, you can check out interest rates on personal or home improvement loans.
Consider all disabilities your family member faces
Although some modifications may seem obvious, others may not be. Prior to making all updates to your home, consider all disabilities your loved one faces while taking a walk through your home. Start at your front door, and visit each room to check for hidden issues. Tour your home through the eyes of your family member to get a thorough understanding of where obstacles may exist.
Add extra safety precautions
You can never make your home too safe for a senior loved one. Individuals 65 and over are especially prone to falls. Just one bad fall can result in broken bones, a head injury, or worse. Wherever possible, eliminate all slip and fall hazards. Replace all rugs that do not have non-slip backing, add traction decals to your shower, and keep all walkways clear.
You can also add some home security devices to help keep your loved one safe and give them some peace of mind. Exterior cameras make it easy to keep an eye on their property, and doorbell cameras let them see who’s at the door using their smartphone or tablet. Additionally, smart pathlights can make it easier for them to navigate their yards at night.
Finally, work with the professionals at Budget Fence N Deck to put together a privacy fence around your loved one’s property. Not only do these fences look great, but they also provide an excellent level of home security.
Design a bedroom that fits their needs and preferences
Creating a safe environment for your family member isn’t the only way you should be preparing for their move-in day. Add special touches to their bedroom by decorating with items that they find comforting and enjoyable. Ideas include putting a television in their room, purchasing a cozy chair, placing flowers in the room, or using bedding that is made from their favorite material.
As you make these preparations, demonstrate the utmost kindness and compassion for your senior loved one. While appreciated, moving from their current home to your home will likely bring up feelings of sadness and anxiety. Don’t take any negative comments that they make personally, and do everything possible to extend patience and understanding.