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Having elderly relatives move into your home is never an easy process. While you want more than anything to care for them and provide them with the love and company that they need, you will likely have work and social commitments and perhaps a young family to deal with alongside. 

What you definitely won’t have, however, is a home that is completely safe and comfortable for an elderly person who needs cared for. Among other reasons, this could be because your garden is slippery or full of steps, your home’s staircase is too narrow or too steep, your spare bedroom does not contain a bed supportive enough for them or your bathroom is not equipped for the less able. 

These simple methods should resolve these issues. 

Use a Downstairs Bedroom

Of course, not every home has a spare bedroom or multiple living rooms. If yours does, however, it could be worth considering converting the spare downstairs room into a bedroom rather than housing your relative upstairs. 

This will reduce the number of times – potentially to zero – that your relative will have to climb the stairs on a daily basis. It will also give them better access to the kitchen and, if they are an early riser, means they will disturb the rest of the house less when they get up on a morning.

Invest in a Stairlift

Depending on your home, stairlift prices can vary and knowing which to invest in is not as simple as it may seem. If you have been unable to create a downstairs bedroom – or if you have one bathroom located upstairs – then you could well need to make that decision sooner rather than later.

Having a stairlift made to measure will make life much easier for your elderly relative, reducing the amount they become frustrated and the chances of them injuring themselves in an accident. 

Landscape Your Garden

Large numbers of the older generation enjoy gardening and tips are available online for how they can safely and gently continue to pursue their passion while living with you. If your garden happens to be filled with slippery slopes, narrow steps or unclear boundaries, you could run into some problems.

If finances allow it, consider landscaping your garden to flatten it, include more pathways and increase the number of benches and places to sit. 

Buy a Waterproof Bed

The reality is that if an elderly relative has been forced into moving in with you because the alternative was a nursing home, they may need specialist furniture such as a waterproof bed. Searching for nursing home supplies online show you what duvet and pillow options there are to help with incontinence and other conditions. 

Know What Bathroom Equipment Is Needed

Finally, consider how you may have to adapt your bathroom. Shower chairs, handrails, and emergency pull cords may be needed to help your relative retain dignity and independence. Personal hygiene never stops being important and you should do everything you can to provide this for your loved one.

By Erica Buteau

Change Agent. Daydream Believer. Maker. Creative. Likes love, peace and Jeeping. Dislikes winter, paper cuts and war. She/Her/Hers.

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