It is becoming more and more commonplace for elderly family members – grandparents, great–grandparents, aunts and uncles – to move into the homes of younger relatives as they age. There are several senior living options ranging from in–home care and supervision to assisted living developments; however, many families prefer to live in close proximity, in the same home, as their aging relatives.
If you’re considering making adjustments to your home in order to accommodate a senior, there are several factors on which to focus. Here are some areas that deserve thought and planning, as well as some advice on building the perfect in–law suite.
What type of in–law suite will work best for you, your home and the senior moving into it?
The most often turned to solutions are finished basements, finished garages and home additions. Finishing a garage or basement can be more cost–controlled that adding additional living space to the home.
Basements should be walk–out basements and all remodeling must incorporate windows satisfying your local codes.
Functionality is paramount to the success and safety of an in–law suite.
If the senior moving in with you is wheelchair–bound, think about counters, sinks and bathroom fixtures that will be appropriate heights for use. Wider halls and doorways will also be necessary to make mobility easier.
Also, plumbing, electricity and safety monitoring features are necessary. You’ll want to ensure you have enough wiring to accommodate an intercom system or emergency alert system and ample plumbing for a separate bathroom and kitchen. Dimmer switches are easy to use and eliminate the need for lamps – which can become precariously placed on tables and nightstands.
Bathrooms are a location where safety should come first.
Many seniors develop difficulties in the bathroom – getting in and out of the tub, maneuvering in confined spaces and hunching over sinks can be challenging. Slip–resistant flooring, hand rails and supports are all safety accommodations that should be made in the bathroom.
Maintaining privacy and the security of your own home is just as important as creating a functional, safe place for your senior live–in.
If home care is an eventual prospect, you’ll want to guarantee access to the in–law suite while at the same time ensuring your home is secure. It’s best for in–law suites to have their own entrance / exit with locking system. CCTVs and monitoring systems to alert dwellers of company’s presence are a good idea for safety purposes. If you decide to also have internal access from your home to the in-law suite, coded or separate locks can be easily installed.
Deciding to have an elderly person move into your home requires plenty of planning. Hire an experienced contractor who will be able to review floor plans and safety options with you before setting a budget down for building the perfect in-law suite.
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