Housing Considerations for an Aging Relative

An older woman discusses real estate options.

Many families struggle with the best way to adapt housing to help an aging relative. Whether this means making modifications to keep them in their own home, moving a parent into your home, or moving with an aging parent into a new place altogether, there are many factors to consider. Fortunately, you can take steps throughout the entire process to make the experience easier for your aging relative.

The first step is to have an open discussion. The best thing you can offer to yourself and your aging relative is a candid assessment of the situation. Even if a sudden illness or a financial setback seems to be forcing a decision, it’s worth exploring how that decision will impact the entire family.

Creating a Safe Environment

If the aging relative is in overall good health, there are many things that can help seniors continue to live independently. If you need to make modifications in the home for an older adult, consider hiring professionals with accessibility improvement experience who can complete the work successfully.

  • Decluttering helps clear out rooms and walkways, giving older adults more room to move, hopefully reducing the possibility of trips and falls.
  • Create a more open environment, ensuring all hallways, stairs, and paths are well lit and clear of random objects.
  • Moving kitchen items that are frequently used to lower shelves can prevent older adults from reaching and losing balance or using stools or stepladders to reach what they need.
  • Set the thermostat on the water heater no higher than 120° F to prevent accidental burns.
  • Replace standard doorknobs with lever handles that are easier for older adults to grasp.
  • Thoroughly inspect the stairs looking for uneven steps or wobbly floorboards. Apply non-skid treads on the steps if necessary. You can also paint stair tops contrasting colors, making them easier to see.
  • Install grab bars around the tub, shower, and toilet. You can also get a unique shower chair or bench and a raised toilet seat.

Moving an Aging Relative

Moving is a stressful life event, and it can be even more stressful for older adults. Aging relatives may need a lot of help and support during a move, but they are usually the expert on exactly what they need. Also, be prepared for the emotions. If the move requires a significant amount of downsizing, it can be emotionally and physically challenging. You can eliminate some negative emotions by making sure your aging relative has a fair amount of control over as many aspects of the move as is reasonable. Having others around to share memories with can make the process less painful. Also, engage in regular talks about current feelings and fears of what may come.

Your communication, patience, and support will help make the transition smoother for your aging relative. The most important thing to focus on is their physical and emotional health.

If you are moving an elderly relative to a new home, Zippy Shell is a terrific moving and storage option for you! Zippy Shell can service both local and long-distance moves, no matter how big your move might be. If you need time in between your move or aren’t ready to move just yet, we offer flexible storage options as well. Go online and get a free quote today and see how we can make moving and storage simple for you and your family!

Top 8 Reasons Why Downsizing is a Good Idea

Downsizing often has a bad reputation, but there are indeed many benefits that can be overlooked. Whether you are choosing to downsize on your own, or you need to move to a smaller home for other reasons, don’t fret because this can be a good change for you!

  1. Financial benefits

By downsizing, you are going from a larger home to a smaller home. This will enable you to sell your large house, allowing you to buy a more modest home outright or put a sizable down payment on it. Not to mention that your new home should have lower maintenance costs and bills due to its smaller size.

2. Fresh start

Those making a move often have a reason for it, such as children moving out or the loss of a family member. Whatever your reasoning is, use this opportunity to give yourself a fresh start. Your new home will allow you to explore a new area and create new memories for yourself.

3. Bigger is not always better

Because you will have less space, you’ll need to have fewer belongings. This does mean there will be less to clean, organize, and furnish, thus reducing the amount of time you’ll spend on daily chores. A smaller home also means a smaller yard and less time spent in it cleaning. You’ll have fewer things to worry about and more time to enjoy yourself you can use to travel, pick up a new hobby, etc.

4. Fun additions

With the extra money you are saving from downsizing, you can spice up your new home with some fun décor or entertainment. You can even create a whole new room that you never had in your old house. This can include a game room, a library, or a gym in an empty room.

5. Bonding opportunity

Having a smaller home allows the occupants of the house to be closer to each other. It provides better space to bond with one another and creates a cozy living area together.

6. Save energy and water

Running a large home can add up to a lot of utilities. Cooling, heating, and water usage alone are much higher in a large house compared to a smaller home. Decrease your carbon footprint, all while enjoying a lower utility bill in a smaller home. Save additional water and energy with these tips too!

7. Necessities

When you have less space, you are going to be forced to have fewer things. This isn’t a negative though because now you will only have the belongings that you need. You will no longer have the option to hoard countless appliances and clothing that never gets any use. Take advantage of this opportunity and have a yard sale with all the belongings that don’t have a place in your new home. Any items that don’t sell in the yard sale can also be sold on eBay or Craigslist, or you can donate it.

8. Less splurging = less clutter

A smaller space will mean you will be less tempted to buy items that you don’t really need because you won’t have anywhere to keep them. This will help you become a smarter shopper and only buy the necessities.

If you are in the process of downsizing, contact Zippy Shell to help you move all of your belongings to your new home! We can service moves of many sizes, and even offer storage options if you need it.  Call us at 888-947-7974 or go online and get a free quote today!