Many of us are familiar with the scenario when young adults move back in with their parents. But, have you considered that many years later, you may have your parents move in with you? Following a sudden injury or illness, family caregivers often open their home to an aging loved one who is no longer able to care for themselves.
Before making the move, it’s important to consider how hard the transition must be for your loved one. They might be hesitant to leave their home–many times, it’s viewed as a loss of independence. But as the family caregiver, you can make the move as seamless as possible, providing them the independence, privacy and comfort they need.
Before moving a loved one into your home, consider the following steps to make for an easy transition.
1. Modify Your Home
Before your loved one moves in with you, evaluate the accessibility of your home. Assess the safety of each room to pinpoint potential hazards for seniors.
To provide a safe place for your loved one to navigate around, you may need to make some modifications to your home, including:
- Cleaning up clutter or removing tripping hazards.
- Improving lighting.
- Replacing doorknobs.
- Upgrading alarm systems.
- Updating flooring.
- Enhancing wheelchair accessibility.
- Installing railings, ramps and lifts.
While some modifications may seem simple, they’ll provide your loved with a safe and secure home environment.
2. Be Mindful of Personal Space
Moving an aging loved one into your home can change the family dynamic and feel like a loss of personal space.
Consider giving them their own personal space within the home. This can be as simple as a bedroom with an attached bathroom for added privacy. Or, if space and budgets allow, renovate an unused part of the home into a small apartment-type space, complete with a bedroom, kitchenette and bathroom for increased independence.
Even the smallest of touches—placing old photos around the house your loved one displayed, putting their favorite blanket on the couch or assuring their preferred groceries are in the pantry—help your loved one build a personal connection in their new home.
3. Help Maintain Their Normal Schedule
When a senior has to move out of their home, there’s fear of losing his or her “normal.” However, as a family caregiver, it’s important to assure them that you only want to improve their level of care. Ease their tensions by sticking to the routine they had before the move as best as possible.
- Maintaining the same meal schedule.
- Taking them to visit with friends or former neighbors.
- Coordinating transportation to any regularly scheduled social.
These small tasks make a world of difference in making them feel at home and maintaining a sense of control in their routine.
4. Keep an Open Line of Communication
Maintain an open dialogue about expectations, fears or other lingering issues with your loved one. While these topics may feel difficult, it’s important for both parties to be comfortable expressing their thoughts and feelings throughout the transition.
Following the move, set aside time to check-in with your loved one on a weekly or monthly basis. This will give them an opportunity to comfortably discuss how they’re adjusting and express their concerns. Sometimes, remedying a problem is as easy as telling each other what bothers you.
>>>Related Resource: Download Busch’s Essential Guide to Meaningful Conversation.
Get Access to Additional Caregiver Resources
If you provide care for an aging or ailing loved one, we encourage you to download our resource, The Comprehensive Guide for First-Time Family Caregivers. This guide is designed to provide first-time family caregivers with the necessary resources to deliver the highest quality of comfort and care for a loved one.