With care homes becoming increasingly expensive, or with people not wanting to leave the care of their ageing relatives to others, the decision to move an elderly relative into the family home may mean that some changes to it will need to be made.
Adapting the family home to cater to the needs of an elderly relative may depend on a number of factors. How easy do they find it to get around? How much help do they need to move from room to room? Are they still determined to keep a hold of their independence as much as possible?
If at all possible, a ground floor room would be most suitable. This will remove any concern regarding climbing stairs, which can become one of the most difficult things for them to contend with. If a ground floor room isn’t possible, or if they still need to use a room upstairs, you may want to consider installing a stairlift. With so many different styles and prices, you might find it helpful to refer to a Stairlift Guide which can take you through the various options available to you.
Placing handrails around the room will provide much-needed support if your relative is unsteady on their feet, and installing ramps to doorways will make going up and down the odd step easier for them too.
Installing handrails in bathrooms will also make bathing easier for them. If getting in or out of the bath is too difficult for them, using a shower cubicle may be more practical. If your relative cannot support themselves or is worried about slipping, you can purchase a plastic seat with holes for water to drain through which is specially designed for use in showers. This can be more advantageous than a permanent shower seat as it can be removed from the shower for other family members to use.
Making the adaptations your home needs to cater to your relative’s needs does not mean spending a lot of money or making structural changes. Many small changes can be made quickly, easily and cheaply, yet can make a lot of difference to their safety and independence.