Although some adult children decide that it is best to hire a home health aide or to place their parents in an assisted living community or nursing home, others opt to have their parents move in with them. If you’ve chosen the latter, you’ll need to make sure that your home is designed for their comfort and safety. With that in mind, here are a few minor modifications you’ll need to make — and some tips for making those mods more affordable:
Chair Lifts. If you live in a multi-level home and your aging parents have a hard time getting around, you’ll need to invest in a chair lift for stairs. The lift allows them to sit comfortably in the chair and with the press of a button, be carried up the stairs.
Better Lighting. One of the leading causes of injuries in senior citizens is falling. Even if your parents don’t have mobility issues, if your home isn’t adequately lit they will be more likely to trip and fall. You can reduce the chances of them falling by installing lights in dim or dark areas. A few lights in a long, dark hallway can help them get to the restroom without getting hurt.
Grab Bars. The bathroom is a very dangerous place for the elderly; wet and hard floors can easily increase the chance in a serious injury. To assist them with getting up and down from the toilet or in and out of the shower or tub, you may want to install grab bars. When properly mounted, grab bars give seniors the extra support they need to move around the bathroom without falling.
Change or Secure the Flooring. Again, tripping is a real concern for aging adults. To keep your parents safe, you may need to change or secure your flooring. If you have area rugs, for instance, you’ll want to remove them or have them secured to the floor with glue strips. If you have wood floors, make sure that all the floorboards are safely secured to the ground.
Remove Locks. You never know when your loved ones might call on you for help. To prevent having to knock your doors down to reach them, it is recommended that you remove the locks on doors for rooms they have access to. This helps you to get to them as quickly as possible in the event of an emergency.
How Can You Afford These Changes?
One of the most trying parts of moving your elderly parents in with you is the cost of it all. Your paycheck only goes so far and you likely have a family of your own to support.
Whether you need to make minor changes around the house, or you need to make major renovations and repairs to your property, there are ways to find the funds you need. For example, start by reviewing your parents’ income and savings. If they have a retirement account and receive disability or social security payments, you could use some of this money to help offset costs (with their permission, of course). Another recommendation would be to look into government assisted programs like grants, or assistance with larger renovations like handicap ramps. Lastly, review your personal finances to figure out where you may be able to cut back to generate additional funds for modifications to the home.
When considering long-term care for your aging parents in your home, there is a lot to plan out. Not only must you make sure that you can care for them financially, you must also make changes to your home to ensure that they are comfortable and safe at all times. These minor modifications will help improve the flow of your home and make it easier to care for those you love.
Photo Credit: forayinto35mm