While most seniors prefer to age in the comfort of their own homes, many find that they eventually have to live with a loved one because they are no longer able to take care of themselves or manage a household. Not only is it an emotional time because your senior relative is losing more independence, but any type of move is stressful for all parties involved. At Lehigh Valley Home Care Assistance, we know firsthand how challenging this move can be and offer the following tips to help make the transition a little smoother.
1. Give Seniors a Choice
For many seniors, losing a home feels like they are losing control of their lives. Let your loved one know this is not the case, and he or she will still be in control. Never force your loved one to move unless the situation is dire or dangerous. Discuss it first, and highlight why it would be a good idea. Once your loved one is on board, allow him or her to make as many decisions as possible, such as how to set up the new living space.
2. Get Help
Packing up, organizing, and moving one person’s entire household is not something you can do alone. Enlist other family members to help out or even close friends who are always asking what they can do to help your senior loved one. Assign them tasks that are time-consuming but that anyone can do, while you concentrate on tasks that require more attention to detail. This can also be a great way for children and grandchildren to spend more time with your loved one.
If your loved one is moving into your guest bedroom or in-law suite, chances are he or she owns more stuff than will fit comfortably into that space. This is the perfect time to downsize and get rid of belongings he or she does not need. However, if your loved one is of sound mind, do not get rid of his or her belongings without permission. Your loved one is already giving up so much by moving that you do not want to make the situation harder than it is. Also, do what he or she asks you to do with any unwanted belongings, whether that’s donating them or giving them to charity.
4. Agree on House Rules
With another adult moving into your home, you may find that the two of you clash on some things like expected noise levels, pets, and cooking. Talk with your loved one about what he or she expects and explain your own expectations. If you foresee any major problems ahead, try to come up with a compromise before they arise.
5. Be Diligent
If the situation is not dire or dangerous, you may be tempted to take a while to make the move happen. In most cases, it is best to do it as quickly as possible. Work on packing an hour a day or dedicate each Sunday to it until the job is complete. Once your loved one is moved in with you, go ahead and prepare the old house for its future, whether you are selling or renting it or letting it sit for a while. Clean it up as soon as your loved one has moved out. The longer these tasks linger, the more difficult they will become.
6. Be Patient
This situation is not an easy one. Whether your loved one is depressed about giving up his or her home or the two of you do not see eye-to-eye on house rules, there will be times when all parties are frustrated. Keep that in mind and try to remember why you invited your loved one to live with you. If you need to, find a hobby or activity that gets you away from the house to cool down occasionally. You can even encourage your loved one to sign up for some sort of program or get involved socially with old friends.
Your loved one might have moved into your home, but that doesn’t mean you have to meet all of his or her care needs on your own. At Home Care Assistance, we offer hourly, respite, and live-in care in the Lehigh Valley, ensuring seniors have the support they need with daily tasks and giving family caregivers time to themselves. Call us today at 484-350-3874 and schedule a complimentary in-home consultation to learn more.