Most seniors these days would love to age in place. But if it becomes clear that your aging parent is now having a hard time taking care of themselves, then you can offer your senior parent to move into your home. This way, you will have better peace of mind knowing you can provide better support if you and your aging parent lives under the same roof. The following are just a few things you can consider before your aging parent moves in.
Make Your Home Senior-friendly
Every senior is different. Some will require minimal assistance, and may only need you to remind them to drink their medications on time, take them to their appointments or run some other errands. Others now have difficulty managing activities of daily life, such as feeding, grooming, moving around, etc. Some seniors require no assistance at all. Knowing what your loved one needs and what they can or can no longer do will help you better support them while they are living under your wing.
If they have impaired mobility, then you will need to make certain home modifications to make your home a safer place for them. Remember that seniors are prone to falls. If your aging parent is now in a wheelchair, you will need wider doors and hallways. Investing in the proper equipment like handrails is also a good idea to ensure they can move around the house easily.
Make sure there is adequate lighting all around the house and install nightlights. If your floors tend to be slippery, you can consider replacing them with textured flooring. If all these modifications are too much for you to handle, you can always hire a general contractor to get the job done.
Help Make Your Loved One Feel in Control of Their Life
It is important that you make your loved one feel they still have a say when it comes to any decisions involving them. Remember that dependency is often the only thing that helps aging people feel a sense of self-worth. Ask them before you offer your help and choose your words wisely.
If they are now having difficulties doing some activities, find other ways to help them. For one, you can install smart home devices. This way, they can simply use their voice to accomplish some tasks on their own. Voice-activated technology can help them make phone calls, play music, control the lights and temperature of their room, and even operate the television.
Always give them choices to make it easier for them to make a decision. Take some time to spend quality time with your senior loved one and encourage them to be social. You can take them with you to have a quick stroll at the park, take them out for dinner, or invite your other relatives over, so they too can spend quality time with your aging parent.
Be Kind, Patient, and Understanding
Sometimes, seniors get frustrated, angry, and depressed. They can be grumpy, forgetful, and stubborn at times. There may come a time when their cognitive abilities will decline. Choose to be kind to your aging loved one and try to understand how they feel.
Be willing to take some time to sit and listen to them rant and let their frustrations out. Seniors need all the support they can get, so be willing to be their confidant. Know that sometimes, they just need someone who will listen to them without judgment. Avoid sharing things they only told you about or else you can lose their trust.
Help Them with Their Finances
Old or not, it can be hard to talk to someone about managing their finances. If they can still deal with their finances well, work with them instead of trying to take charge. If not, then that is the only time you can decide for them. Talk to them about their sensitive financial documents and access to their financial accounts.
Make sure to explain to them that your intention is to simply assist them and not take over their assets. If you have other family members like a sibling or two, keep them informed. It would be best if all family members are on the same page when it comes to your aging parent’s finances.
If your senior loved one insists on paying rent, buying groceries, or giving their share for the utility bills, respect their decision. You may be financially capable enough to pay for it all, but remember that they only want to maintain their dignity by helping pay for what they can. You can choose to save their share and use it in the future in case they might need it one day.
Choosing to take your aging parent home so you can be with them is an admirable labor of love. When caring for an elderly loved one, make sure your home is safe and senior-friendly. Keep their dignity by retaining their independence. Assist them in the best way you can but respect their decisions and always be supportive.