You’ve had the call: Grandma is moving into your house. She’s an elderly relative, and you haven’t prepared for this. Is your home equipped? Does it have space for another person? Do you need to consider her expenses as well as yours? These are questions that you need to answer before she moves in, but while it’s going to be a significant stress for you to adjust and have space for an elderly member of the family move in, it’s going to be an adventure.
When you have kids in the house, being around a member of another generation can be a huge privilege. They’ll learn so much from their presence, and Grandma is going to benefit being around the children, too. The question that you need to consider most is whether your home is safe enough for an extra family member – an unsteady family member – to move in and spend time with you all. You may start browsing the catalogs of Safe Home Pro, but until you know what you need, you need to hold off. Until then? First, you must write a list. Even the smallest change can make a big difference to your Grandma. With that in mind, here’s a checklist of things to consider changing before the big moving day.
Doors & Walkways
- Install nightlights in the walkways and halls at the floor level. This could be good for the kids, too, but more than that, Grandma isn’t going to trip in the dark when she can’t find the light switch.
- Keep the clutter clear from the hallways and low down on the floor. You want to avoid trips, and this is a way to get the whole family involved.
- Swap out your fixtures from doorknobs to handles. Handles are so much easier to maneuver over knobs that require a twist.
- Add railings to the stairways and main house doors. You need to make sure that they are bolted correctly, though, as this can be a problem if they can’t hold body weight.
- You can swap your lights out for LED light bulbs to ensure that your Grandma can see. Lighting is essential in your home when you have an elderly relative living with you.
- If you want to be fancy, why not upgrade to smart lighting? You can ensure that you control the lighting easily from your phone or from your Alexa!
- Support bars can make a difference in the comfort of your Grandma if she can get in and out of the bath without help. It helps her to maintain her independence.
- Non-slip bath mats are the best way to reduce slipperiness, and a bath rug can absorb the excess water from outside the shower.
- Change out your faucets if you can. The ones that lift up are the better option for relatives when they can’t twist the tap.
- Installing a chair that can help your Grandma to stand up and sit down again can make a big difference in how she moves comfortably.
- Move cluttered end tables and make sure that entry and exit ways are clear of any falls or knocked legs. You want to make walking through your house as easily as possible.
All of these small changes can make a big difference in the way that your Grandma lives. It’s not always easy to live with an elderly relative, but when you embrace it and make the right changes, they’re going to feel far more comfortable in your home.