Today, many families are realizing the benefits of moving their aging parent into their home. Not only does a multigenerational household provide wonderful opportunities for bonding, but it will also give you a chance to look after your parent's needs. Before moving your parent in, however, you should be prepared to make some accommodations based on their health needs. While a two-story home will present a few extra challenges compared to a single-level home, these three strategies will help you promote independence while ensuring your parent's safety.
Conduct an Assessment
A full understanding of your parent's abilities will help you plan your home. For this reason, you will want to talk to their medical team, observe their daily routine and ask about their comfort levels before you get started. This can help you uncover problems that can be easily corrected with some planning. For example, an elderly adult with mobility issues will benefit from having a stair glide that can help them easily access both levels of your home. As you complete your assessment, make sure to schedule consultations with any service providers that can help make your home more accessible.
Explore Your Options
According to the U.S. Center for Disease Control, staircases without handrails on both sides place seniors at risk for falls. However, it is important to note that there are additional options to increase accessibility that go far beyond adding handrails. For example, a stair chair lift can provide a way for your parent to ride up the stairs rather than climbing. Since they are seated and buckled into position, you never have to worry about them falling. Adding non-slip surfaces to the top and bottom of the stairs is another precaution you can take to increase the safety of your staircase.
Duplicate Frequently Used Items
Even with stair glides, your loved one will find it easier if you keep frequently used items on both levels of the home. For example, your loved one may find it easier to set up two separate charging stations for their electronic devices. It is also important to make sure your loved one has accessible bathrooms on both floors that are stocked with their personal hygiene products.
Whether your loved one's room is on the top or bottom floor, making each level accessible will ensure their wellbeing. From installing a stair glide stair lift (with the help of professionals such as those from All-Star Lifts) to double stocking their most used possessions, you can ensure a smooth transition for your family's new living arrangements.