What should you consider when your elderly relative is moving in?
Moving home is considered one of the most stressful things in any adult’s life. It is no wonder then that an elderly relative moving into your home can also be a challenging time for both them and you. There are a lot of adjustments that may need to be made to ensure your home is ready to welcome an older person. Taking time to consider these adjustments before moving day can save you all from additional stress or emotional toll at the time. Here are a few things to consider before your relative moves in.
Family mealtimes can be a crucial time for bonding and communication, especially if your family has a hectic social life. However, consider your elderly relative and ensure that they get to join in with any meals. Adapting a meal is an excellent way to demonstrate how welcome and valued they are as a family member in the household. Remember though that an elderly relative may have a different meal routine than yourself. They may eat earlier in the day or have to eat according to their medical routine or diet. Consider this and the adjustments you may all have to make to accommodate this. Making separate meals that meet dietary requirements but serving them at the same time can be a good compromise.
Accessibility is a vital factor in ensuring any home is a welcoming space for an elderly relative. While you may not envisage your relative using the upstairs a lot, it may feel disempowering and lonely to close off an entire area of the house to them. For instance, while you may have a lovely room with an adapted en-suite downstairs, they may still feel like they are a burden if they cannot access the linen cupboard to grab towels and have to ask someone every time to fetch them. Terry Lifts are an easy solution to ensure the whole house is accessible and open to your relative.
Take time to have conversations with your children, no matter what age, about the forthcoming change. The more prepared they are, and the more they can understand why such a move is necessary, the more willing they will be to adapt their lifestyle too. For instance, asking a child to practise their electric guitar in the chilly garage as opposed to the bedroom will be much easier if they’re prepared for the change. They will be more accommodating if they understand it is to allow their relative to sleep more during the day or to listen to the television more easily. It is easy to think that your children won’t need to make any changes, but even small things like being careful not to leave toys around as trip hazards will impact the child. The more you can talk to them, the easier the transition will be.
Ask Your Relative
Finally, remember your relative will know what makes them feel comfortable and at home. Communication is key to any change to your living circumstance. Don’t be afraid to talk to them about how they think the move has gone and check in with them from time to time to assess how welcome they feel and if there is more that you could do for them. They may not want to seem like a burden, so encourage them and remind them that you want to make them feel as welcome as possible and that their suggestions are appreciated.
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