When Grandma Moves In: Making Your House Grandma’s Home
Posted on June 30, 2016
Grandma’s always been there for you. She
watched the kids while you went on a much needed vacation, and helped out after
the youngest one was born. Grandma has always supported you. Now, she needs
some support of her own.
Grandma has lived in her house for 50
years. But the stairs are steep and the big house is difficult to maintain. You
don’t want her to move into an assisted living home, but you don’t want
her to stay where she is.
So you’ve decided to invite Grandma to live with
you. Whether the situation is one of invitation or necessity, with planning and
communication the transition will be as smooth as butter.
Before Grandma Moves In
Before Grandma moves in, take a tour
around your house with a critical eye. Make a list of things that will need to
be changed or modified before she arrives. Ask yourself:
- Do grab bars need to be installed in the
- Does furniture need to be re-arranged to
make more space for walking?
- Do all of the lights work?
- Do you have nightlights in bathrooms and
- Does your yard have hazards like uneven
pavement or overgrown vines?
Give Grandma her own bedroom and, if
possible, her own living room or living area to arrange as she pleases.
It can be stressful to merge
belongings together without a plan. Create a clear map and write down where everything
will go. Make sure Grandma knows beforehand how much space she will have for
Adding her things into your living room?
Re-organize your items to give Grandma her own section of the room.
Be clear that it is her own space to arrange however she likes.
Grandma is downsizing to move in with you.
Why not do the same? Use this time to go through and donate things you don’t
use or need.
This will help free up space for Grandma’s
belongings. She’ll feel better knowing she’s not alone in having to let go of
After Grandma Moves In
Having someone move in causes a disruption
in everyday activity. If Grandma
is active and mobile, add her into the household chore list. She can help
out with preparing meals, doing dishes, gardening, and walking the dog. Don’t
expect her to do any heavy lifting -
you’ll still need to take out the trash.
Is Grandma moving in from her house across
town? Encourage her to stay social with her daily or weekly activities. Expect
that she will have friends over to visit, and various activities to attend.
Is Grandma moving in from out of state?
Research senior activities in your area. Help Grandma feel more comfortable
with her new social circle by offering to take her to senior events. Be
supportive while she makes new friends. It’s overwhelming and scary to move no
matter what age you are.
To make the transition easier, set daily
routines. On Tuesdays, go to the grocery store. On Thursdays, take Grandma on
any errands she needs done. On Friday nights, go out for dinner or see a movie.
Every weekend, spend some time planning
out the next week. Make sure to ask Grandma if she needs you to drive her
Grandma will love knowing what’s going on for the week. You’ll have
better communication around happens in both of your lives if there is a set
schedule to work by.
While it may seem overwhelming at first,
both you and Grandma will come to love living under the same roof again.
Grandma will be there to help with things
around the house so you don’t have to worry when you get home from work. She
can help get the kids ready for school in the morning and for bed at night.
Your pets will enjoy having someone around more often, and Fido can get Grandma
outdoors and exercising.
Even if you don’t need the extra
babysitting, Grandma can still watch the house while you get away for the
weekend. She’ll be there to listen and give advice when you’re feeling lost.
Instead of having to hang up the phone, you can end the conversation with a
Living with Grandma, you’ll be able to support and care for each other while Grandma enjoys her golden years. After all, what else is family for?