Older loved ones coming to visit? Tips to prepare your home…

September 26th, 2013 No Comments

NJ elder care tips: Older loved ones visiting

With the holidays coming soon, it’s time to start thinking about your holiday visitors. Perhaps you have older loved ones coming to stay with you for a short time. Take a look around your home, but through the eyes of an older person. What dangers or inconveniences do you see? While it may not be financially reasonable to make major home modifications—such as adding a wheelchair ramp, for example—you’ll want to make your home as comfortable and safe as possible at a low cost. Home modifications aren’t the only thing to consider; examine your lifestyle as well.

Low-Cost Ideas

  • Shower chair. For those who have trouble getting in and out of a tub, a shower chair is a back-saver.
  • Grab bars. Inexpensive temporary grab bars attach easily to a shower wall and will help steady your loved ones.
  • Tighten loose railings and/or steps. Have you been meaning to fix that loose step or stair railing? Go through your home and make sure these important items are tightened.
  • Area rugs. While these might be pleasing to the eye—or are covering up that old coffee stain—to an older person, they are trip hazards. Simply remove them while they’re visiting.
  • What’s for dinner? Know what special considerations your visitors may have, such as low-sodium or intolerance to certain spices, dairy, vegetables, etc. Don’t serve your famous super hot chili to Uncle Joe who has an ulcer. Ask them in advance what they like to eat.
  • Sleeping Conditions. Consider your bedding. Do you have an air mattress for visitors? Is it a tall bed? Many older people have difficulty either getting into a low or high bed. Make adjustments as necessary.
  • Noise. Is your house filled with crying or noisy children? Try to make your loved one’s stay as serene as possible. Don’t keep the kids away from their grandparents, but monitor the reactions of your loved ones. Know when it’s time to have the kids play in another room, for example.

The list could go on and on. The point is to take an objective look at your home and lifestyle and put yourself in your older loved one’s shoes. Enjoy the time you spend together!

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