Nothing is guaranteed in life, but, if we are lucky, getting old is a certainty. But for many, this certainty brings its own sets of worries. An article on the website Aging In Stride looked at the top five fears we have about ageing. The fear of becoming disabled, the fear of Alzheimer’s disease and the fear of being lonely were in the top five fears. These fears can be why many families decide to look after elderly relatives in their own home.
If you are thinking about bringing an elderly relative into your home, you may find the idea both exciting and daunting. You want to ensure that your relative feels welcome and secure in your home, but also has a sense of their own independence and personal space.
The best scenario is that, at the very least your relative has their own room that has space for all their things. If there are mobility issues, this could include electric wheelchairs, mobility aids or a comfortable massage or recliner chair. A low level room may be a good option if there are mobility issues, and one that is also close to a toilet is also a positive step. Their own television and radio will also be useful, particularly if your relative likes to retire to bed early, and enjoy some television on their own.
But you also need to think about how you can ensure your family member is not lonely or excluded. Family meal times sat around a table where you can chat, rather than around the TV are a good way to share the news of the day, important if someone has been alone all day. Multi Generational living can have so many positives for your children, not least help with homework and another perspective on life in general, so make the most of it.
You may need to look at some aspects of safety for your relative, particularly when it comes to the bathroom. If you need to add rails to the bath or toilet, then do so. A grab bar will not really change the look of a room, but it will give you added piece of mind when it comes to bath time.
You may need to get legal advice if your relative is selling a home to move in with you, the Age Concern website is a good source of information if this is the case.