There are a couple of factors that may make you consider moving in with an elderly loved one. In some cases, it may be the only available option for them.
Nursing Homes Vs. At-Home Care
Nursing homes provide an opportunity for the elderly to receive around the clock care, which is great but nursing home costs can be very high. The average rate is $7,000 per month for a shared room. This may not be within the reach of some families, but some seniors may prefer to age at home anyway.
Think Critically About Your Home
Although there are other reasons you may want to move in with your loved one at this crucial phase of their lives, you must go the extra mile to ensure that your home is suitable for them. To do this, you should ask yourself the following questions:
- How easy is it for them to get around the house?
- How accident-proof is my house?
- How easy is it to get things around the house?
- Can my home accommodate the mobility challenges that they might be experiencing?
With the above questions answered you should think about the following key concepts.
Ensure That Your House is Safe
Safety is paramount when you are planning to host an elderly person in your home. Remember that their mobility is likely to be challenged and they may not be able to react to dangerous situations, for example, as fast as you can. This may mean setting up an alarm or burglar proof system.
Safety can also simply mean making your house accident proof. The first place to consider accident proofing is the bathroom, as this is where many accidents for the elderly occur. Make sure that bathroom floors are dry at all times and use non-slip mats to enhance traction. Lastly, make sure all parts of your home are always adequately lit.
Limited Mobility Issues
A senior coming to live with you is likely to suffer from limited mobility issues related to their age. To plan for this, you need to make the following considerations:
- Door knobs should be easy to grip
- Bedroom should be located downstairs, close to the bathroom, and should be wheelchair accessible
- Doorways should be wide
- Ramps should be installed where possible
- Install stairlifts if need be
- Raise kitchen counters if need be
Plan for Help
If you are working, you might need some help taking care of your loved one while they stay with you. The nature of the help you need will vary based on their needs, but if they need full time care this point is particularly important. You may be able to get help from any of the following sources:
- Adult day cares
- Other family members and friends
- Support groups
Making these modifications in your home is going to be expensive. While it won’t be as expensive as paying for a room in a nursing home, sources of funds that you can consider include:
- Family and friends
- Life insurance from a deceased spouse
Ultimately, you want to ensure that the transition is as smooth as possible for both yourself and the elderly family member. Your home should feel as homely as possible, so it’s essential that they can remain independent there. These are some of the small things that will allow them to age gracefully and with dignity.