Readers Digest
Magazine subscription Podcast
HomeInspireLife

Preparing your heart and home for a senior parent

BY READERS DIGEST

16th Mar 2022 Life

Preparing your heart and home for a senior parent

As more than 40 million baby boomers move into their golden years, more families than ever before are welcoming their senior parents into their homes.

While most seniors claim to prefer to age in their own homes, safety and health concerns don’t always make this possible. As a comfortable alternative to a nursing home, many seniors move in with their adult children.

If you are preparing to welcome a senior parent into your home, everyone will have an adjustment period. This type of move will have physical, emotional, and mental consequences for the whole family.

For adult children, offering a senior parent a safe home is a priority. Making your home safe and secure and arming yourself with knowledge like First Aid courses can help make the transition go smoothly. Let’s take a look at a few tips to help you open your heart and home to your senior parents.

Patience

You and your children may be excited about the idea of having your senior parent move in, but that doesn’t mean that they will share your enthusiasm. Being asked to move out of their family home where they are the most comfortable can be very upsetting for your parents. It’s important to remain as patient as possible and give your parents the space they need to make the necessary adjustments to their attitude and lifestyle.  It’s essential to be patient with your senior parent and allow them the time to adjust to their new home, environment, and schedule.

Space

Before you decide to bring a senior parent into your home, you need to consider if you have enough space for them. Your parents should have their own space to call their own. This means that you should be able to give them their own bedroom or convert a section of your home into a mother-in-law suite. It’s important to give your parents a space where they can have some privacy.

Safety

One of the main reasons you are bringing your parents into your home is to keep them safe. Before moving, you will need to make some changes around your home to help your parents stay safe.

  • Install grab bars in the bathroom
  • Repair all stairways and railings
  • Install lights in dark hallways
  • Add anti-slip mats to the kitchen and bathroom
  • Motion lights outdoors

Responsibility and Purpose

Your senior parent will be used to being in charge of their own home and is likely to feel like a bother as they begin to settle in your home. One effective way to give your senior parent purpose is to assign them a household responsibility. Ask your parents to look after the dog during the day, sweep the floors, or cook a meal to make them feel like an active and important part of the family.

Quality time

Moving your senior parent into your home will undoubtedly have its challenges. When things get a bit tough, it can be helpful to take a moment to be mindful and focus on gratitude. You are being given the opportunity to spend valuable quality time with your parents and share them with the rest of the family. These moments can be extraordinary and become cherished memories.

If you are ready to welcome your senior parent into your home, follow these tips to help make the adjustment easier for the whole family.

Keep up with the top stories from Reader’s Digest by subscribing to our weekly newsletter.

 

Loading up next...
Stories by email|Subscription
Readers Digest

Launched in 1922, Reader's Digest has built 100 years of trust with a loyal audience and has become the largest circulating magazine in the world

Readers Digest
Reader’s Digest is a member of the Independent Press Standards Organisation (which regulates the UK’s magazine and newspaper industry). We abide by the Editors’ Code of Practice and are committed to upholding the highest standards of journalism. If you think that we have not met those standards, please contact 0203 289 0940. If we are unable to resolve your complaint, or if you would like more information about IPSO or the Editors’ Code, contact IPSO on 0300 123 2220 or visit ipso.co.uk