If you are in the position of being able to care for an elderly loved one in an annex to your own home you are very fortunate, and so are they! Here we explore ways to help them feel at home as we share our top tips for furnishing an annex for an elderly loved one.
1) Let go of your idea of perfection
It is extremely easy to put our idea of what is nice into the space available but it’s not going to be the same as an elderly loved one would choose. Try to stop thinking about the space as yours and focus on what you can bring in to help them feel at home.
Importing as many items as you can from the house that they are leaving will help them immensely. Having the items they treasure and that are of importance to them will help the transition to be smoother. It will reassure them to have familiar objects around them. Think about putting up photographs or pictures to help make them feel at home.
It is absolutely worth its weight in gold to risk assess the environment the elderly relative will be using. Check the safety of any electrical items they are using as some may well be decades old and you don’t want to risk a fire. Check the fire alarms work and install carbon monoxide detectors. Ensure there aren’t any trip hazards, install handrails and ramps if needed.
Consider having an emergency alarm system installed so that your relative is able to alert you if they need you urgently. You will want to find suppliers to help you provide the necessary medical assistance for them too, for example oxygen via The Oxygen Store. Make contact with the local GP for information on what services they are able to provide to elderly patients in your area and put a plan in place for others to help assist you in case you aren’t able to be there.
For your elderly relative to feel less of a burden you will want to consider how to incorporate them into your everyday life. It may be that your relative is perfectly capable of running errands or making a meal each week. Creating a sense of purpose and structure will be good for their mental health and it will help bring you all together. Try to include the relative in the inner workings of the family so that they can feel involved.
I hope you found this blog post useful? If you are lucky enough to have an annex in which your elderly loved one can live then it is worth considering it as an option. If you have any advice you would like to contribute too, please do let us know?