Housing Multiple Generations Under One Roof: How To Adapt Your Home Around Kids And Elderly Parents
Everybody knows that human bodies change significantly through the years. As time goes by, people’s needs evolve too. When multiple generations are living under one roof, it can seem impossible for one property to accommodate so many different requirements at once.
Still, intergenerational living is becoming more common for a variety of reasons. Some families seek to cut costs on things like stamp duty, while others simply want to split the costs of rent and bills for a more affordable lifestyle.
You may need to make a few choice adaptations to your home to make things work here. Below you’ll find a few suggestions on what changes to consider implementing and tips on making the process easier.
Get a Care Assessment
If you have vulnerable elders living with you, you should know that there is a process to securing the housing adaptations you need for them. It’s important to follow the right steps so that everything goes smoothly.
Try to get a needs assessment from social services via your local council. After it’s done, they will then recommend or authorise the home adaptations you require. Prepare beforehand so that you can articulate your needs clearly and confidently, and leave no stone unturned. Stick to the facts, too, and be careful not to embellish the challenges you experience.
It’s also important to note that the assessment is free and that anybody is eligible for one. They usually last an hour and can be conducted in person or via phone lines. Results can be expected a week later. Consequently, you don’t worry about jumping through numerous hoops when exploring your options here.
Look into Government Grants
Adapting your home is a big undertaking. You can expect to tally up numerous expenses.
Of course, you may wonder how you can afford the changes you need, particularly if they’re more ambitious in scale. Fortunately, your local council may be able to help. It could be prudent to research the grants they offer to help you fund some of your projects.
These grants can fund a range of home improvements; improving access to rooms and facilities, providing better heating systems, and adapting heating and lighting controls. It is best to look into these matters first. Once you have done that, you will have a more reliable plan of action in place when adapting your home.
It could also be worthwhile to discuss these matters with your partner or spouse. Include any elderly parents in the discussion too. That way, you can be certain that you’re securing the correct grants for the challenges your family experiences.
Work with Charities
Local councils may sometimes refuse applications for home adjustment grants. Care assessments can also be complained about and appealed as well. Still, things don’t always come together here, even if you strongly feel the adjustments to your home are necessary.
After exhausting financing options, the next best step for funding is to approach a charity. For example, if you’re caring for disabled children, then charities can help you fundraise for a variety of home improvements. Physiotherapy and sensory rooms can be covered, for instance.
Additionally, working with charities can give you a wholesome feeling too. There’s a community spirit behind their efforts and a sense of unity and teamwork. Depending on how pressing and stressful the home adaptations are, working with a charity may just bring some comfort and peace of mind throughout the ordeal.
It’s not just money you receive from charities either. Guidance, social media tips for fundraising campaigns, and Just Giving page tips are all on hand. It’s moral support alongside the financial, which can make a big difference.
Incorporate Smart Technology
Smart technology can unify households due to its wide range of applications and ease of use. Every member of each generation can benefit from its inclusion.
Energy usage can be monitored and tracked from a smart thermostat. Some smart technologies also enable lights to be switched on and off in a single word. Specific rooms can also be adjusted in these fashions, rather than blanketly making the entire property cold and dark.
Your kids and elderly parents alike will be suitably satisfied under these measures. Of course, this makes it much easier for everyone to live in harmony too. Family tensions can often occur because of generational differences, so anything that mitigates these troubles should be embraced gladly.
Children, in particular, may be more impressed by the inclusion of smart technologies. It certainly lends a cool factor to the property. It might seem like something of a trivial point, but in the end, anything that helps the home feel more contemporary may earn you points as a parent there.
Think About Smaller Changes
Not every change to your home needs to redefine the property in an impactful way. More subtle changes can be welcome too.
Multigenerational homes need to be well-lit at every opportunity. You may need to make additional lighting installations to ensure this is possible on your property. Entryways, in particular, should be sufficiently illuminated.
Intercom systems can also be highly useful. That way, any elderly parents staying with you don’t need to get up and go to the door if they’re home alone. An accompanying camera system may also enable them to see who is at the door as an added safety precaution.
Certain mattresses can provide more comfort too. Airflow variations, for example, are designed to help people who spend more time in bed. They’ll feel less sore and more comfortable during their use, accommodating their lifestyles well.
Adapting your home is practical to a point. However, it’s certainly not the answer to every problem that you encounter, particularly when it comes to your elderly parents.
It’s important to set realistic expectations when adapting your home for your elderly parents. For instance, if they require 24/7 care or suffer from dementia, your adaptations may not be as effective as you’d hope, and the relative may need to go to a nearby care home to receive quality support round the clock.
Still, considerations for their comfort does not end in these circumstances. You should expect that they’ll be in a relaxing environment, filled with quality furniture for care homes that help them and their guests feel at home instantly. Nursing home chairs can be higher and offer better support too. The furniture is designed with mobility limitations in mind.
Gaining an idea for how care homes do things may help you adopt a better perspective regarding your home adaptations. You can do all in your power to ensure your elderly relatives are comfortable, but it may not be enough in some situations. Try to avoid spending your time and money in vain, as difficult as it might be to come to terms with.
Making home adaptations can be a difficult and emotionally charged experience at the best of times. However, with a multigenerational family under one roof, there may be a few unexpected twists and turns in the process. Patience is a strong virtue here, especially if you need to authorise your changes and secure funding. After that, you can only do your best with each adjustment and recognise the capabilities and limitations of each.