How to prepare for your parent moving in
While moving your parent in isn’t for everyone there are those of us who would rather they were close to home so we can keep a watchful eye on their health than face the prospect of being unable to help because we live further afield.
If your parent’s health worsens or perhaps they’re struggling with their mobility moving them in could help to meet their care needs while integrating them into family life. We share advice to make the transition easier for all.
Adjusting your home to fit your parent’s needs
If your parent lives with you it can be convenient to care for their needs while ensuring their safety. But whether you have young children or teenagers there may be practical changes you can make to ensure your parent is comfortable and help them and you cope with the change in family life.
Rearrange the furniture
Parents with poor vision or mobility issues may take time to adjust to a new home with a different furniture layout to their own. Chairs and tables with protruding legs may need to be repositioned in order to prevent trips and falls and narrow walkways between furniture may need to be widened if your parent is reliant on a walking frame or has a wheelchair.
Depending on the size of your home it may be a good idea to set aside a disused downstairs room as a separate sitting room for your parent so they can enjoy their own space with their own furniture while watching what they want on the television.
If your parent has trouble with stairs due to limited mobility it can be helpful to convert a downstairs room into a bedroom – space permitting – so your parent can easily retire without requesting help to tackle the stairs.Also installing a chair lift on the stairs can help to reduce the risk of accidents or injuries whenever your parent has to go up to the second floor.
If you have steps up to your front door you may need to replace them with a ramp or install a handrail to ensure your parent has safe access into the house. Small downstairs toilets can prove problematic for parents who use mobility aids as they’ll be unable to get to the toilet unassisted.
Installing support rails in the main bathroom and even altering the layout of the downstairs toilet can help your parent to remain independent for longer and eases your own responsibilities especially if they use a wheelchair.
As our parents age they may require various aids and equipment to help them maintain their independence. There are a wide range of tools and mobility aids you can install to help your parent with day-to-day living from a hearing aid loop for the television and specialist furniture to support frames, slings and alert systems – choose to suit your parent’s physical and medical needs.
Changes in family life
While there are many practical changes you can make to your homes layout there are also ways you can alter family routine to accommodate your parent’s needs and make them feel included in family life.
Paying the bills
You may find that your parent wants to make a financial contribution to the running costs of the household. While most of us would tell our parent it’s not necessary for them to put money towards the bills you may find that they’d like to pay for things in order to cover the cost of them living with you and to lend a helping hand especially if they’re unable to help out in other ways.
Sharing the chores
While your parent may not be in the financial position to pay certain bills they might like to help with the day-to-day tasks to keep family life running smoothly. Cooking, shopping, cleaning and tidying can all be small ways in which your parent can contribute to family life and it may mean you get off dinner duty when you come home from work.
Depending on your parent’s mobility and mental health you may find that they’re more than willing to help look after the grandchildren while you’re at work. Looking after young children can be demanding on older parents but then again it’s something that can occupy their time during the day while forging a stronger bond between grandparent and grandchild.
There may come a time when certain family members don’t see eye to eye on certain subjects or perhaps feel that some topics are taboo which can be due to generational values and difference. Addressing what’s appropriate to mention and what’s not with your parent and children ahead of the move can help to keep the peace in the long term.
Rules and routines
If your parent is taking multiple medications to manage their health issues ensuring they stick to a routine will mean there’s no confusion over dosage as their treatment progresses. Transferring their prescription to your local pharmacy as well as placing them on the patient list of your GP surgery will help make the move a smooth one.
Can your parent get to where they need to go?
If your parent has moved far from their previous home to live with you it’s important to make sure they know where the local amenities are and how to get home again! If they have their own car this transition should be fairly straightforward but if they’re reliant on you for lifts or public transport it can be more complicated.
If you don’t have good transport links your parent may feel that they’ve lost a part of their independence having to rely on you to go somewhere so it may be worth setting up an account with a local taxi company so they can come and go as they please.
If your home is a short walk from the shops can your parent walk the distance unaided or will they need help when encumbered with shopping bags? Any mobility issues will also need to be considered in terms of travel arrangements especially if your parent has aids and equipment that aren’t easily transportable.
With social care services struggling to cope with the increasing needs of an ageing population it seems more families are relying on each other to help share the caring responsibilities for elderly parents.
While moving your parent in with you can be an adjustment both for you and for them accommodating their care needs can mean they live longer, healthier lives helped by a supportive family environment.
Care Shop supply a wide range of products to help you look after an elderly parent in a home environment, including care equipment and furniture. Visit www.CareShop.co.uk or call 0845 266 8744 for more information.