Having an older adult loved one move in with you can be an overwhelming process for both of you, but many Americans are finding it to be the more economical choice. Given that Where You Live Matters asserts that assisted living can cost anywhere from $1,000-$4,000 each month, you might be looking for ways to avoid spending such sums, which can quickly add up.
When one of your family members becomes ill or can no longer afford to live in their own home, asking them to come live with you is a big responsibility.
Not only do you need to consider your loved one’s health needs, but your home may need to be modified, as well. Being a caregiver is a demanding job, but ultimately, many people find that it’s one they are willing to perform if it means their loved one is safe and happy.
Take a look at your home
No matter what sort of home you live in, you may have some modifications to do before your loved one can move in. Steps on the front porch may require a ramp; bathrooms will need to be fitted with non-slip rubber mats on both the floor and in the tub, and a shower stool and/or grab rail should be installed as well.
As Nationwide explains, extra lighting can also be added to help accommodate those with vision impairments and will go a long way toward preventing falls; throw rugs should either be well-tacked down or simply removed, as they are a trip hazard. Items in the kitchen should be well organized and perhaps even clearly labeled, and cleaning supplies should be kept well away from food items.
In addition to indoor hazards that need addressed, survey the outside of the home to determine whether potential risks should be dealt with. Uneven or cracked walkways should be leveled off or replaced, and old or damaged trees and limbs should be removed.
Even if there are no extra modifications to make, you’ll still need to walk around your home and make a good plan. For instance, if you have stairs in your home, it makes sense to give a ground-floor room to your loved one. Clutter should be removed from walkways and door handles should be easy to grasp. If your loved one suffers from a medical condition — such as Alzheimer’s — which may leave them disoriented or prone to wandering, you may need to consider installing motion sensor alarms on the doors.
You can also allow your loved one to add their own personal flavor to their new space. A quick way to spruce up any room is with a fresh coat of paint or wallpaper. You can find custom wallpaper to suit their particular taste in design, texture, and color schemes. There are scores of options to choose from, including handy no-mess removable wallpaper that can be repositioned or repurposed for another room.
Consider their legacy
We all want to leave something meaningful behind, and many older adults have a will or other legal document stating their intentions for their estate. However, it’s a good idea to make sure they are well taken care of when it comes to their property and belongings. Depending on which state you live in, there may be different laws regarding transferral of assets, so do some research and, if necessary, hire a lawyer to help your loved one get the most out of their decision.
Think about care options
If your loved one has medical needs, it may be necessary for you to spend time at home caring for them. If this isn’t possible, consider hiring a home health assistant to come and relieve you during the day. A qualified professional can give you peace of mind while you’re at work or taking care of other responsibilities, and you’ll know your loved one is receiving the best care.
Don’t forget to take care of yourself. It can be an overwhelming, stressful (physically and emotionally), and demanding job to look after an older adult. Be sure to take a little time for yourself every day to do something relaxing, something that puts you in a good state of mind.
It can be difficult to see a loved one go through health issues, and some caregivers find they need to speak to a therapist or support group to get through it. Remember that you never have to do something like this on your own.