Transitioning Family When the Elderly Move in for Care

The decision to move an elderly parent, grandparent or relative into your home can be a stressful time for you and your family in terms of the adjustments that need to be made. Keep in mind that it is an adjustment for everybody involved, including your elderly loved one moving into your home on a permanent basis. It takes a little time to find a happy medium for all involved.

Prepare Everybody in the Household

Have a family meeting without your elderly loved one present. Let everyone know what is going on with the move and when it is taking place. Surprising someone in the household with the news is not good for anyone involved. It only causes anger and tension when people are left out of the decision-making process. Make sure everyone is on board. Take time to:

  • Address Concerns – Bringing an elderly relative into your home affects everybody who lives there. Take the time to listen and find out how everybody feels about the situation. This includes children living in the home. Discuss all issues. Be honest and realistic with your answers.
  • Establish Rules – Everyday is not going to be roses and sunshine. Establishing certain rules concerning behavior in the home can help though. Discuss what to do when there is a conflict. Consider having a family meeting on a regular basis. This allows everyone, including your elderly loved one, to bring up any concerns instead of letting them grow into major issues.

Prepare Your Elderly Loved One

Moving into a new household environment is an adjustment for your elderly loved one, even if they have visited your home on a regular basis before this point. There is a big difference between visiting somebody and moving into a different home on a permanent basis. Being the newest member of the household is not easy, especially for someone used to being independent. Take time to find out what their concerns are before the actual move takes place. Some common concerns may include:

  • Location of Stores, Medical Facilities – If your home is in a different city, take time to show your elderly loved one around. Show them where the grocery store, pharmacy, doctor’s office and nearest hospital are located. Even moving into a new neighborhood can be stressful. Show them around the neighborhood and introduce them to the neighbors.
  • Preparing a Room – Let your elderly loved one have a say in how their room is decorated and what they have in the room. Ask if there is anything special they would like in their room, such as a television, radio or a special item of furniture from their previous home. You will not be able to bring everything they had in their old home, but bringing certain items can help ease the transition.
  • Safety First – Make sure your home is safe. Dark hallways and stairways can cause accidents. Make sure your flooring is safe. Get a senior alert pendant so they can call for help.

Everyone Lends a Hand

Caring for an elderly loved one at home can be a stressful task sometimes. Divide up tasks so you do not get overwhelmed. We all need a break sometimes. Consider creating a schedule for things such as taking your loved one to the doctor or shopping. If your loved one needs someone to be with them on a regular basis, make sure it is not always the same person. Remember, having a loved one in your home is a group effort. The idea is to create a loving, caring environment, not to stress someone out by having them do all the work.

Keep as Many Routines as Possible

Your elderly loved one may have certain routines they like to follow, such as when they get to bed or what time they eat breakfast. It may not be possible to keep every routine. For instance, it is not practical to have two completely different meal times. However, let your elderly loved one do things like go to bed when they want or watch what they want to watch on TV.

It can be easy to slip into the habit of role reversal and treat your parent or grandparent like a child. Nobody likes to have all their independence taken away. Do not forget to make an effort to spend time with them. Sometimes the best thing you can do for an elderly loved is be there for them. Bringing an elderly loved one into your home can be a truly rewarding experience for all involved.

Author Bio: Becky Harris is the head copywriter for U-Pack, of the ABF family of companies. U-Pack offers moving services, resources, and more.

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