How to prepare an elderly loved one moving into your home

Not so long ago, it was common for different generations to live together so elderly relatives could be carefully looked after by family in old age. Today, it can still be a great all-round solution. Here are some tips to help get your loved one set for moving into your home. 

Take care of legal and financial matters

It’s possible your loved one will still be able to look after their own health and financial choices after they move in with you. That said, it may be wise to speak to a solicitor about their options. Your relative may wish to make a lasting power of attorney, so you or someone else has the power to look after important decisions for them as they age.

Check your alarms and detectors 

Burglar alarms. Smoke detectors. Carbon monoxide sensors. These precautions are important for all of us and they’re especially vital if an elderly relative will soon be moving in with you. Make sure yours are up-to-date and in full working order and, if you’re missing any, be sure to install and test them before your loved one moves in.  

Safeguard your home’s layout

Take a good look at your home’s layout and furniture placement to make sure it’s free from risks and hazards. Elderly people typically need a little more space to move freely around. If your loved one is in a wheelchair or uses a stick, they’ll have even more need for plenty of room. Watch out for any furniture that’s crammed closely together, or is placed somewhere unexpected. Rugs and electric cables can cause trips and falls, so move them safely behind furniture or tape them down to be on the safe side. 

Slip-proof your bathroom

It’s worth giving particular attention to one of the most important rooms in the house – the bathroom. Floors and surfaces can be slippery with water, so it’s vital to add safety measures. Think about installing grab-on bars or arm rests beside the shower, bath and loo. Make sure the lighting is bright, so your loved one has a clear view of their surroundings. And top it off with an anti-skid matt on the floor of the bath and/or shower. You may even wish to install an alarm cord in case they get stuck.

Find a companion for the busy times

Many hands make light work. Ease the worries of your loved one moving into your home by arranging for a local companion to pay them regular visits or to take them out and about. Companions can also help out with day-to-day chores, like shopping, cooking, cleaning and organising medicines. This can make a real difference, especially if work and other responsibilities mean you’re often out of the house. By finding a friend for your loved one, you’ll be taking the pressure off yourself while helping keep your relative connected, healthy, happy and inspired.

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