It’s never pleasant watching age take its toll on your loved ones. From the sidelines, you’ll watch as they go from functional to struggling to get around. And, while some people do manage to maintain their independence into their later years, many don’t. When that happens, you may find yourself with no option but to open your home to elderly relatives, or to put them in care. The latter of which most of us would do anything to avoid.
Still, opening your home is no easy fix. While it avoids the loss of independence from a care home, it’s still an extreme transition for everyone involved. Suddenly, your relative won’t have their own space to return to. And, they could fast start to resent you as a result.
While there’s little you can do to prevent feelings like these, there are things you can avoid doing to make things easier. And, we’re going to look at some of them here.
Forget personal privacy
Whether through concern or lack of thinking, you may forget the importance of giving this relative privacy. They’re in your home; why wouldn’t you ask where they’re going when they head out? Take a step back, though, and imagine how you would feel if someone tracked your every move again. Obviously, you need to do whatever necessary to ensure their health and wellbeing. But, letting them go for a private stroll or spend uninterrupted time in their bedroom is also essential.
Force them into too much dependence
The relative in question is already at a level of health where some dependence is necessary. If they weren’t, they wouldn’t have moved in with you in the first place. Still, leaving them dependent on you for everything would be a mistake. Instead, you should take steps to help make their life easier without help. That may mean setting up their bedroom on the ground floor, or investing in a wheelchair lift for home use which would allow them to get out and about. You could even install chairlifts in the bathroom to allow them to wash independently. Anything which stops you needing to intervene all the time is a good thing.
Set them up in the heart of your home
In some cases, you’ll have no choice but to set your relative up in the heart of your home. But, this has the downside of removing the privacy we spoke about above. They may also feel obliged to sit with you in the evenings or eat with the family. While these things are both nice sometimes, you don’t want your loved one to feel they have to do them always. Hence why, if at all possible, you should give them a private part of the house. It may be that you have enough rooms to set up a little bedsit for them, or that you can transform the garage into an annexe. Either way, the separate space will work wonders for keeping your loved one, and thus you, happy.