When your mom or dad’s home is too much for them, it is alarming. You want to do all you can to help. For many people, the thought of moving a parent to assisted living is the last resort. As an alternative, people decide to move a parent into their home instead. What if your parent is disabled? What things should you be considering when you move a disabled parent into your home?
Make Key Rooms Fully Accessible
If your mom or dad is in a wheelchair, doorways, and halls must be wide enough to accommodate the wheelchair. There must be room to turn without fear of getting stuck. Per the ADA, the average wheelchair is 26 inches from the outside of one back wheel to the other. They tend to be about 42 inches long.
ADA requirements on doorways are that they are at least 32 inches wide. Pocket doors or sliding barn doors are often easiest to use in a home as they eliminate hinges.
Is Your Home One Level? If your home is more than one level, how will your parent get up and down stairs? Do you have space and the money to put in a stair lift? If not, you would have to carry your mom or dad up and down stairs. That puts a strain on your back. A stair lift will be essential. On average, expect them to cost around $5,000 to purchase and have professionally installed.
Can your mom or dad get in and out of an entry door or are there steps to the sidewalk or driveway that must be navigated? You may need to put in a wheelchair ramp to the entry door. Is there money for this? You may be able to find some grants or low-interest loans to make the home accessible, but there are no guarantees that you’ll qualify.
Respite is essential to your well-being when you care for a disabled parent. You may think you can handle it all, but you’ll have bad days. Your parent might be particularly argumentative one day. It can drag you down. As part of the selection of caregiver services, home care agencies offer respite care.
With respite care, a caregiver takes over for an hour or two or even a full day while you take a break. Don’t be ashamed to admit you need help and that you can’t do it all. Call a home care agency and ask about respite care.