As parents age, children have to decide how to take care of them. The average nursing home in Houston can run about $100 per day for a private room. With the median household income of Houston residents sitting around $43,000, many families are choosing to move mom or dad into their homes.
When preparing for such a transition, it’s best to look at this kind move from all angles. Emotions come into play, schedules need to be set, and planning needs to be put in motion. However, as the saying goes, even the best laid plans often go astray. While you can’t foresee all issues that might arise, it’s helpful to have a starting point. Here is a checklist for preparing the home for mom and ensuring that the experience is comfortable and positive for everyone.
Hours: 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily
One of the first adjustments to the home to prepare for mom’s arrival is to organize her bedroom. For some households, this can mean converting an office, game room, or exercise room into a bedroom. For others, a child may have to give up personal living space and share a room with a sibling. The bedroom that will be designated for mom needs a few vital pieces of furniture.
First and foremost, you will need a bed. To make mom comfortable, a full-size bed is ideal, or go for a queen-size if dad is moving in too. The bed should be positioned low to the ground to make it easier for an elderly person to get in and out of. A nightstand by the bed is convenient to place a lamp, clock, and any of mom’s personal items. Lastly, the bedroom needs a dresser for mom’s clothes and other belongings. A dresser that is wider than it is tall is ideal for mom’s accessibility. For quality bedroom furniture, visit Gallery Furniture in north Houston.
Showroom Hours: Mon—11 a.m. to 4 p.m., Tues to Fri—11 a.m. to 7 p.m., Sat—10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Sun—Closed
Taking a bath or shower can be difficult for an aging or disabled parent. To make room for mom moving in, modifications to the bathtub may be needed. Simple solutions may include installing a handrail or purchasing a shower seat. However, new bathtub designs allow for easy entrance and exit and are designed for comfort and safety. These bathtubs can be custom installed. ReBath of Houston specializes in these walk-in tub installation and serves the greater Houston area. Families can even visit the showroom and talk to a ReBath consultant to ensure the right purchase is made to suit mom’s needs.
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Hours: Mon to Fri – 7 a.m. to 4 p.m.; Sat by appointment only
If mom is bound to a wheelchair, then changes have to be made around the home so that the transition is smooth and mom can be mobile. Changes can include adding a ramp over steps in front of the house, adding handrails around the home, or even installing a wheelchair lift. To determine what changes are needed in the home, the advice of a consultant may be required. Mobility Plus has a large selection of mobility solutions and can help with wheelchair accessibility needs. For those on a budget, the company offers an affordable selection of used equipment and special deal merchandise.
Healthcare professionals available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week for in-home care
Mom may have specific healthcare needs that require the expertise of a medical professional. This can include administering medicines and injections, maintenance of medical machinery, or monitoring chronic health conditions. If a Certified Nurse Assistant (CNA) or Licensed Vocational Nurse (LVN) is needed to help care for mom, Living Hope Home Healthcare is a resource that can be of assistance. It offers home healthcare solutions and staffs medical professionals who are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
Hours: Mon to Fri – 7 a.m. to 5 p.m.
If mom cannot care for herself and all family members are at work or school during the day, it may be necessary to enroll mom in an adult day center. Adult day centers can offer peace of mind to families so they do not have to worry about their aging parent during the day. These centers offer social activities, medical care if needed, and constant supervision. Dixon Adult Day Center is a nonprofit organization that cares for the elderly and offers many programs that families can take advantage of, including daily exercise regimens suited to mom’s specific needs, assistance with rehabilitation and speech therapy, and community field trips.
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Amber E. Wilson is an educator, writer, and entrepreneur who lives in Houston, Texas. She has earned a Bachelor of Arts in English and a Masters of Business Administration degree. She is also the founder and Executive Director of a nonprofit home high school that helps teens earn their diploma. Her work can be found at Examiner.com.