Sunday, August 21, 2011

Safety Tips When Grandma Moves Into Your House

Is Your House Safe For Grandma Or Grandpa ?

Recently, I was asked by a reporter (Cammie Jones) of Augusta Magazine about safety tips when grandma or grandpa moves into your home. Here are some excerpts from my interview. Be sure to look for the article which will appear September 2011 . Please add your ideas as well in the comment section.

I think Cammie had some very important questions for me which I answered below.

1. What are some general things a family can do to prepare for the grandparent moving in, both physically and mentally?

The number one thing is safety. The house needs to be prepared to prevent Fall risks. Grip rails in bathroom, clutter cleaned up, toys out of the way, scatter rugs removed, appliances and dishes in easy reach, night lights, good lighting, dogs and cats out of the way (so you cant trip over them), etc.

2. What are some tips for a smooth transition when dealing with a health issue - be it dementia, or a physical ailment such as a broken hip, cancer, etc. How should parents explain what is going on to their children?

Aging is a normal process and when folks age there are
many changes that occur such as brittle bones, slowed down motion, impaired hearing and vision, difficulty with memory and understanding. So it is bests to speak slowly and clearly looking at the person. Anticipate that grandma or grandpa may need assistance with walking or getting out of a chair. etc.

3. What are some ways to keep a feeling of normalcy for the family as well as the grandparent who is moving in? (both lives are drastically changing from the "norm.")

Offer a separate room for grandparent with a comfortable sitting chair, television, radio. Maintain boundaries and privacy. Allow
grandma or grandpa to eat smaller meals and more frequently. Offer lots of fluids (dehydration) and a close access to bathroom. Invite grandparent to take part in activities i.e. watch a movie, but also allow for privacy.

4. What are some ways to handle issues that come up once the grandparent has moved in? For example, how to explain the situation to friends of the children, what if there is a habit that is bothering either the grandparent or the family that needs to be addressed?

Its wonderful to be able to take care of a grandparent. This is great for children to see first hand. But it is not easy. Respectful behavior begins with the adult child to model for the children.

Photos are from my book, "Hot Cottage Collectibles For Vintage Style Homes", Thanks to
Pink Pig Westport and Natasha Burns for their photos contributions.

C. Dianne Zweig is the author of Hot Kitchen & Home Collectibles of the 30s, 40s, 50s and Hot Cottage Collectibles for Vintage Style Homes. She is also the Editor of I Antique Online an actively growing internet based resource community for people who buy, sell or collect antiques, collectibles and art. You can find Dianne’s fabulous retro and vintage kitchen, home and cottage collectibles at The Collinsville Antiques Company of New Hartford, CT, a 22,000 feet antique emporium with an in-house retro cafĂ©.To read more articles by C. Dianne Zweig click on this link: C. Dianne Zweig’s Blog Kitsch ‘n Stuff Email me at dianne@cdiannezweig.comVisit my website, CDianneZweig.comDianne is a member of:The American Society of Journalists and AuthorsThe Society of Professional Journalists

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