In today's upside down, crazy world of Covid-19 having multiple generations living in one home can present some unique problems. I’m not talking about grandma and grandpa hating their grandchildren’s music (even though that may be a thing). Mom and dad may be working from home, the kids may be learning remotely, and keeping grandma and grandpa out of an assisted living home can be safer. Creating a harmonious environment in which everyone can live safely and peacefully can take a little bit of effort. We here at HPFY can help you understand any potential issues and point you in the direction of some great solutions.
With coronavirus keeping students at home, parents working remotely, and the possibility of keeping our most vulnerable out of nursing homes, we need to understand how to create a home that is livable for everyone involved. So how does one go about creating a functioning home that has so many requirements and needs? The first step in creating this utopia is identifying the needs of each household member and remembering that each and every person has their own different specific need. This can include everything from making sure we respect each other’s privacy and including everyone in the solution. Some things to consider that may have been overlooked in the past include:
It seems like a simple, cut-and-dry exercise to make a home multigenerational, but sooner or later some issues are bound to pop up. With new potential challenges, creating a home environment that is conducive to school work, our older relatives, and even our everyday work demands can be a bit of a challenge especially if we don’t think proactively. A great way to create this home nirvana can include:
Trying to concentrate while working or in class can depend upon the ambient noise around you. This noise can become distracting and effect your work/learning environment. Sound machines, such as the Marpac Dohm DS Noise Sound Therapy Machine, can effectively block noises in a wide range of frequencies. The adjustability and customization allow the user to control their sound environment easily. The Sound Oasis Bluetooth Sleep Sound Therapy System takes this concept one step forward by incorporating a Bluetooth speaker. You can use the 10 preprogrammed sounds or stream other sounds from your Bluetooth device.
With the possibility of older relatives living under one roof, the concepts of accessibility and mobility become important. The use of ramps can help those with limited mobility navigate throughout the home. Threshold ramps, such as the Safepath BigHorn Plastic Threshold Ramp, can help those with a diminished gait safely navigate over raised thresholds. Exterior stairs can be another area of concern. Since they come in a multitude of sizes, simply choose one that meets your needs. The PVI Portable Multifold Ramp is a good example of a ramp that can be utilized with a wheelchair or even without. The variety of sizes can overcome whatever your needs may be.
While we're talking about mobility, let’s discuss getting around the inside of your home. Instead of having our older parents in assisted living homes during this pandemic, having them navigate our homes is safer (not to mention cheaper). For those who need assistance while walking, this walking aid allows the user to be more upright and stable. No need to be hunched over!! For tighter spaces, the UPWalker Lite is a lighter weight, smaller version of the full-size UPWalker that can be ideal for safely getting around the home and avoiding obstacles.
Having our elderly at home with us means we need to think about everyday tasks that we take for granted. The use of daily aids can make our older relatives more independent and require less help from us as we try to work at home. Try using daily aids such as the Insulated Mug with Lid or the Medline High-Lo Scoop Plates to make mealtime easier for them and for you. Not only will they allow them to maintain their independence, but it can increase their everyday quality-of-life. The use of reachers can help them reach objects in cabinets or on shelves safely and easily without requiring the need of someone else to get it for them. This can minimize interruptions during the day while we are trying to work or study.
Minimizing the risk of any viral transmission is what makes a multigenerational home possible. With schools opening and closing depending upon positive infection numbers, the use of masks in the home is a great idea. This can reduce the risk of transmission in the home from anyone who may have been exposed. The use of gloves can also go a long way to minimizing transfer risks. These are just part of a daily hygiene routine that are the basics of any anti-Covid-19 regimen. The use of hand sanitizers and antibacterial soaps make daily handwashing more effective.
As we age, incontinence becomes a little bit more prevalent. Having an older generation live in a multigenerational home means having to deal with the possibility of disposing of adult incontinence items. This disposal system offers discrete, hands-free disposal of adult incontinence briefs or diapers to minimize odors and allow for bag removal when needed, therefore minimizing waste. Depending on your need, there are two options: a 7-gallon version and an 11-gallon version. Both are attractive and match almost any decor.
Yes, it is possible to design and create a home that can be lived in by multiple generations of family members. All it takes is a little bit of forethought and identification of what potential issues could arise and finding the appropriate measures to overcome them. With the right home aids and a little bit of patience, everyone can coexist in a harmonious and loving multigenerational home.
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Kevin Cleary has been a Health Products For You contributor for many years and has a degree in marketing. His health and wellness journey has a very personal meaning and has guided him in his content writing for HPFY.
In 2006, ...
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