If you make the decision to move an elderly relative into your family home then you are making an admirable commitment to caring for the needs of another family member. Whilst you are already showing understanding of their condition by acknowledging that your relative can no longer live alone, there may be amendments you need to make to your home as well to ensure that your relative is getting the best from the new living situation in terms of comfort and general well being. These amendments can best be broken down into the basic rooms of a home;

It would be best, if you can manage it, to give your relative a bedroom on the ground floor and near a toilet so that they can get to their bed with ease and get up in the night comfortably and with dignity, should they need to use the bathroom with little warning. If you are in a position to be getting completely new furnishings for the room then think about the specific needs of your relative when it comes to the bed itself. A low, easy access bed would be best, especially if your relative is a little unsteady. This kind of bed is also ideal if your relative falls out of bed in the night – something which can become unavoidable as they get older.

Make sure you have bars, rails and handles in place around all of the bathroom furnishings to help with access and steadiness when each piece of bathroom furniture is in use. If you have a shower rather than a bath it might be worth putting a folding down seat in there so that the chances of slipping are greatly reduced and any spells of dizziness can be combated. Although you have moved your relative into your family home, making sure they feel that they still have independence and are self-sufficient to some extent is very important.

On a similar note, it may be important for your relative to at least be able to access the upper floors of the house, if only to say goodnight to young grandchildren. For this reason, it might be worth getting a bannister or stair rail along both sides of the stairs rather than just the standard one side. You might also like to consider getting a stair lift, depending on how mobile your relative is.

Sitting Room:
Allocating a chair to your relative is a nice way of including them in the family dynamic. The living room – or the room that has the telly in – is often the place where a lot of family bonding takes place so it might be nice to include your relative in this by giving them their own chair. This is also a great opportunity to get a chair which is best suited to specific needs. You might like to get a chair that reclines and also tips forward to help with comfort and also getting in and out of this chair.

Finally, it might be nice to get some of your relative’s favorite foods in, at least for the beginning of their stay so that they can feel the normality and predictability of their old diet for a little while. After all, a person can only handle so much change.