Because of various circumstances or health conditions, it may become necessary for aging adults to move in with family members. Family caregivers need to make a few crucial preparations before moving their senior loved ones into their homes. If you want to make your home a safer and more comfortable place for your loved one to live, here are some of the basic steps you’ll want to take.
1. Downsize Belongings
Your loved one will likely need to pare down his or her belongings when moving into your home to receive care. When you’re helping your loved one decide which items to keep, store, or donate, be sensitive to the fact that certain items may have significant emotional meaning, and remember your loved one is also adjusting to the idea of leaving his or her home. If space in your home is a concern, you may need to downsize some of your belongings as well.
2. Choose the Right Bedroom & Make It Safer
Choose a bedroom for your loved one that has easy access to bathrooms and shared spaces. If possible, the room should also be far enough from other rooms to allow your loved one a certain degree of peace and privacy. Consider adding built-ins or other storage options so your loved one will have plenty of space for the items he or she needs. Make sure your loved one has a lamp within easy reach of the bed and plenty of night-lights to illuminate the paths to the bathroom and the kitchen. If your loved one has physical limitations, consider adding a lift recliner, bedside commode, hospital bed, or other appropriate items of furniture.
Families who need help caring for a senior loved one can turn to Home Care Assistance, a leading provider of senior home care. Services available in our customizable care plans include meal prep, mental and social stimulation, assistance with personal hygiene tasks, and much more.
3. Modify the Bathroom
According to the National Institute on Aging, more than 1 in 3 seniors fall each year, and 80 percent of those falls occur in the bathroom. By taking the following steps, you can reduce the risk of falls and make the bathroom a safer space for your loved one:
- Purchase a shower chair and install a handheld showerhead so your loved one can bathe sitting down
- Install grab bars near the shower, tub, and toilet
- Place nonskid mats in the shower and tub
Caring for a senior loved one can be challenging for families who don’t have expertise or professional training in home care, but this challenge doesn’t have to be faced alone. Family caregivers can turn to Columbus Home Care Assistance for the help they need. We provide high-quality live-in and respite care as well as comprehensive Alzheimer’s, dementia, stroke, and Parkinson’s care.
4. Increase Safety in the Common Living Areas
As seniors get older, they can lose their balance more easily, and they may not be as watchful for fall hazards as they should be. With a little bit of foresight and a few changes around the home, you can create a safer environment and drastically reduce your parent’s risk of falling and experiencing an injury. All common areas of the home should be well lit and free of clutter. Be especially careful to remove clutter on stairs, in or around common pathways, and near stoves, electrical outlets, and other places where it could be hazardous. Remove all loose rugs, and if your loved one uses a walker or wheelchair, store or relocate excess furniture so he or she has plenty of room to maneuver. Also, make sure stairways have solid handrails on both sides. In addition, consider installing night-lights along all the common pathways.
When caring for your loved one, keeping him or her safe, comfortable, and healthy is of the utmost importance. If you’re the primary family caregiver for a senior loved one living in Columbus, live-in care is available if your loved one’s health has become too difficult to manage without professional expertise. At Home Care Assistance, we take measures to help seniors prevent illness and injury by assisting with exercise and mobility, preparing nutritious meals, helping with bathing and other personal hygiene tasks, and much more. If your loved one needs assistance with the challenges of aging, reach out to one of our knowledgeable, compassionate Care Managers today at (614) 481-8888.