Making Your House A Home For An Elderly Loved One
(Without Taking Out a Second Mortgage)
If your senior parent or grandparent can no longer live alone, it may be time to bring them home with you. But, it’s best for everyone if you put some thought into the process without making a knee-jerk reaction. Remember, nobody wants to feel as though they’ve lost their independence, and this is a tough decision even when it is necessary. Even if your loved one feels reluctant, you can make your house feel like home, and do so without overspending.
Get a Pro’s Input
A quick search will likely reveal many Certified Aging In Place Specialists in your area. These are people who have undergone extensive training in senior home modifications. SeniorHomes.com explains they will further understand codes standards and have the resources available to help you create a safe and comfortable environment for your aging loved one. While you do have to pay for these services, it is a small investment that can keep you from spending thousands of dollars on unnecessary renovations.
Your consultant will likely recommend many helpful changes to help you best accommodate your family member. But first, Livespace recommends designating an appropriate area for them with senior-friendly options, like a taller bed and slip-resistant floors. You will also want to discuss what personal items they want to keep by their side.
As you clear a room, it might make financial sense to add an inexpensive, sturdy outbuilding to hold everyone’s excess – this can be more cost-effective than renting a storage unit long-term, and steel is a durable material that can keep your personal assets safe from the elements. Having your own private storage area will also keep you from driving back and forth when your loved one wants to see their stuff.
Change Things Up
Your consultant will likely have many recommendations. Their first is probably to keep your loved one on the bottom floor of your home. They may also suggest a wider entryway or, if you cannot confine them to one level, a stair lift system. Fortunately, most of the changes you will need to make cost very little, and, with a DIY mindset, are easily doable without professional help.
A few alterations to consider doing yourself are:
- Removing interior hinge-hung doors and replacing them with sliding doors.
- Adding a raised toilet seat, shower chair, and grab bars in the bathroom.
- Refinishing wood floors with non-slip wax.
- Eliminating unnecessary furniture – particularly things that are lower than waist height.
- Installing handrails in the hallway and at any steps.
Shop for Discounts
When it is time, you can also save money on creature comforts from furniture to hand towels by making an effort to dig up sales and promo codes online. There are plenty of stores (like Kohl’s, Macy’s, Target) that offer a great selection of home decor for every need and budget. Tabletop lamps, for example, are crucial since lighting is a vital component to your home’s safety for a senior, and can be found for less than $30. Looking for discounts and promotions (like the ones found here) makes it easy to outfit their space without spending a fortune.
There are many things to think about before you open up your home. From home modifications to new decorations, these don’t have to ruin your personal finances. Remember, some things are an investment, such as adding a new storage building or hiring a senior consultant, but the time and money they will save you in the long run are well worth the dollars and cents spent.