If you’ve committed to move your folks in with you or you’re thinking about it, there are some things that you need to consider. In many cases, thinking the process out ahead of time helps things go much more smoothly.
One of the first things you need to think through is how easy it will be for your parents to get into your house. While you may climb the steps in front of your home easily every day, your parents might have trouble doing that. You may need to install handrails on the stairs. If one of them is in a wheelchair, you’ll have to install a ramp. You may also need to install more lighting because many seniors fall when there is not enough light for them to see well. Depending on their health, some people even remodel their homes so that an exterior entrance is available for them to use without having to go through the main house.
Put Them in a Downstairs Bedroom
Having to go up flights of stairs frequently can be an issue for those with bad hips or knees. Therefore, their physical limitations may dictate that you put your parents in a downstairs bedroom. This might require you to give up your guest room or another room in your home for a time. On the other hand, it could mean a significant remodeling job to add an additional room to the ground floor. Some people find that it is easiest to extend their home’s exterior by adding extra space onto the side or rear of the house. Keep in mind that you will need to pay for these changes. You may also need to work with code enforcers in your city before, during and after the process.
Modify the Bathroom
In many cases, the bathroom will need to be modified. If your parent is using a wheelchair or soon will be, then the doorway needs to be at least 20 inches wide. You’ll also need room in the bathroom to turn the wheelchair and get it near the commode and the bathtub. Additionally, you may need to add grab bars to make getting in and out of the bath and on and off the commode easier. You might also need to purchase a shower chair or install a walk-in shower.
Moving your parents into your home is a big step for everyone. Thinking through the physical layout of your residence with their current and future medical needs in mind is the best place to start.