I'm proud to be friends with Laurie March, HGTV.com's resident House Counselor. She put together a terrific video describing how best to set up a bathroom for a senior who's Aging in Place:
Thanks, Laurie! You can check out more of her great tips on her HGTV blog. Are you remodeling to accommodate Aging in Place, or have a question about it? If so, I'd love to hear your story. Just leave a comment here, shoot me an email or chat us up on our Facebook page. We’d love it if you’d “like” us.
Everyone ages differently but, the fact is, everyone ages – and the first time this really hits us is when we observe our parents journeying through their senior years. Here are 3 major changes or transitions you’ll likely see at some point, along with solutions for how best to help your parents (and yourself) through them.
The solution: Hire a housekeeper. But that creates another problem: How to protect your parents when outside workers come into their home?
The solution: Do a home inventory. Things can easily go missing and if there’s no official record of them, there’s no recourse.
To do a complete home inventory, go room by room and:
The solution: First, make sure your parent sees a doctor so that a medical determination can be found. Second, start keeping track of these calls and their happy resolutions. Then have a gentle talk with your parent about doing a home inventory and perhaps a thorough organization of everything so items are easier to keep track of.
The solution: If you can corral your family members to help do it, that’s ideal. Put a detailed plan and schedule together, and clearly assign who’s responsible for which of the following things:
Given that the most congenial of families often can’t get along at a time like this, though, it’s often best to bring in someone to manage the move for you. That’s where we come in. As certified Senior Move Managers, we handle all of the above via our list of a la carte services – so you can decide how much of the stress and work you’d like us to manage for you.
For those of you who know me through Rebagz Handbags, a company I founded 5 years ago, this new business of mine may come as a shock. How does one go from running a handbag company to one that focuses on senior move management, professional organizing and home inventories?
Easily, actually. Or as easily as one can begin a new venture. And there is a symmetry to this move, given what’s been going on with me personally over these past couple of years.
First, a formal introduction: Here at Clear Home Solutions, we take care of a lifetime’s worth of treasures – and all the emotions attached to them – when it’s time for you or your senior parents to move, re-organize or take a home inventory.
This was all inspired by my experiences with my 90-year-old father, his 88-year-old sister, and the rather delicate dynamics of my family. Suffice it to say that it became clear that there is a need for a service which manages both the physical objects and treasures collected throughout a lifetime – and the frail emotions that often surface when a senior is making some sort of transition.
At a meeting of members of SMARTY, one woman told me what had happened to her parents. She’d been to visit them last summer and all was well. But when she returned at the holidays, “a transition had happened,” she said.
The house was a mess. Her mother had always been the housekeeper and kept it very tidy. But during those few months between summer and winter she’d become too weak to keep up with it.
That’s not a minor change. Her mother’s transition meant they needed to bring in an outside worker, a housekeeper, into their home. Having someone new coming into your home - a stranger who’s touching your belongings and cleaning your bathroom - can sometimes feel as jarring as relocating.
And of course there’s the concern about how honest that new person is, which is why you need a home inventory before having someone work in your home. But that’s for another blog.
One of the things I love doing the most is solving problems. They’re like puzzles to me. My father’s home is neat and organized, while my late aunt’s home was neither due to the ravages of Alzheimer’s. It showed me how unique each situation is, and how challenging – and fulfilling – this work could be, and that I’d be good at it.