Moving another person into a space that was designed to fit only one person is a difficult task. We have some pointers and tips to help you prepare for and adjust to this new way of life.
Gradually reduce your size.
If you decide to bring in a caregiver, don’t rush to clear out your loved one’s belongings in order to make room. Accepting to share space with a live-in caregiver means agreeing to give up some of their independence, which can be emotionally taxing. Furthermore, attempting to clean out a house in a short period of time can be physically exhausting.
Make a downsizing plan and allow six to eight weeks for implementation before bringing in a caregiver. Aim to tackle one area of the house per week to make the change feel more natural. If your loved one is having trouble letting go of their possessions, pack them up and move them to a garage or off-site storage facility. Return items that the caregiver truly misses or considers essential once they have moved in, and donate the rest.
Increase Bathroom Space
An extra body can have a significant impact on bathroom schedules, especially if your loved one has incontinence and requires constant access to the bathroom. Consult a local plumber near you to plan the installation of a second full-bath or half-bath to avoid conflicts with bathroom needs.
If your home has two levels, consider installing a full bath on the first floor and designating it as your loved one’s bathroom. Essentially, you are reducing accidents and making the space more accessible in the event of an emergency. This will also allow for a bathroom that is specifically designed for accessibility—you can build grab bars, non-slip flooring, or walk-in tubs right into the blueprints rather than remodeling years later. Take a look at our top bath safety tips!
Make Rooms Available – Create Room for Live-in Caregiver
An open floor plan has many advantages, including more light and the illusion of more space. Both of these factors are critical in assisting your loved one in adjusting to having a new roommate. Consider demolishing the walls separating the kitchen, dining area, and living room. This will result in a larger home that can accommodate a second person. Furthermore, the additional light can help alleviate the feelings of isolation and depression that some people experience as they age. Finally, having an open space allows the caregiver to keep a close eye on your loved one and efficiently cater to their needs.
Wherever Possible, Convert Space – Time for Caregiver
If you can afford it, making more room for another person is the simplest and most effective option. You don’t have to hire a crew of contractors to expand the structure of your home. If one already exists, there is a great opportunity to easily convert a garage into a caregiver apartment. This can also be accomplished with a covered front porch or a back sunroom.
Making more space will help your loved one feel as if they are not sacrificing any aspects of their original home. This will also provide their live-in caregiver with a space to call their own. After all, moving into someone else’s home can be just as emotionally and physically taxing on them as it is on you. Creating an efficient space will give the caregiver a comfortable place to prepare meals and relax on their own time.
Make a Quiet Spot – Creating Peace in the Home
Although it may appear to be contradictory to the previous suggestion, it is critical to assist your loved one in maintaining some privacy within the home. Humans, in general, require alone time to maintain healthy mental well-being. This will become even more important once your loved one is no longer able to live independently.
Convert an existing room, such as an office, into a cozy space where you can get some peace and quiet for a few hours each day. If you don’t have a spare room, consider incorporating a sitting area into your loved one’s bedroom. By separating a corner for a loveseat or a comfortable reading chair and ottoman, they can make their sleeping area feel like an entirely different room. This can be critical in keeping their house feeling like a home.
If you have a loved one in the Chicago area that is need of live-in caregiving, you may be concerned about how to manage the care they receive while balancing your own work and community responsibilities.
Right Choice Home Care in Chicago is one company here to help! We offer quality Alzheimer’s home care services to help your loved one’s age gracefully in the comfort and safety of their own family homes.