Author Topic: Parent moving in--how do we make her comfortable?  (Read 924 times)

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VltGrantham

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Parent moving in--how do we make her comfortable?
« on: February 06, 2013, 10:29:24 AM »
My Mother is moving in with us very shortly and putting her home on the market.  Our house is not large but not really small either.  We have four bedrooms and she will be in the downstairs bedroom.  This bedroom has a fairly large walk-in closet and shares a full bathroom with the main living floor of the house.  There is a door from her room into the bathroom and you can also access it through the hall.

We are in the process of getting rid of our furniture from the room and making room for hers.  She will have her own TV and a small sitting/writing area besides her bed.

We have already begun to talk to our daughter about giving Grandma her privacy and not running to her for every little thing.  The rule is that if Grandma is in her room with the door closed, DD is to leave her alone.

What I'm looking for are other ways we can make her comfortable and help her to feel at home.  Does anyone have any suggestions?

bopper

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Re: Parent moving in--how do we make her comfortable?
« Reply #1 on: February 06, 2013, 10:46:11 AM »
I think it would be good for EVERYONE if you have a chat about:
Is she responsible for any household chores? or only cleaning her room?
Will she be driving? Will you drive her? How often?
Will she be eating any/all meals with you? Which ones?
What food does she like?
Will she be contributing rent or any money?
How will you handle bringing up issues that you or she has?
How much of her stuff can she bring to the house? Only stuff for her room?
Will you expect that she baby sit? Is it okay if she says no sometime?
Will you bring her on vacation? Everytime?
How do you want visitors handled..yours or hers.



heartmug

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Re: Parent moving in--how do we make her comfortable?
« Reply #2 on: February 06, 2013, 12:09:00 PM »
My mom had to stay with us temporarily and I would make a rule about visitors.

I asked visitors to please take mom out to eat.  Not only did this give us more alone time in the home, but for awhile I had people wanting to make meals, leave dirty dishes for us, chatting in the living room when we wanted to watch t.v., etc.  Unless you also want to visit with these people, I would get something established.  One really nice couple would always ask "And can we bring you back anything?"

Good luck.
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Outdoor Girl

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Re: Parent moving in--how do we make her comfortable?
« Reply #3 on: February 06, 2013, 12:23:54 PM »
Will there be room in her bedroom for a small refrigerator, coffee maker or kettle and a small microwave or toaster oven?

I'm thinking it would be nice for her to be able to make something for herself for breakfast or for snacks so she doesn't have to emerge from her room if she isn't feeling up to it.

I'd put a lock on the hall door of the bathroom, if there isn't one there already, so no one can walk in on Mom.  Maybe make a rule, designating that bathroom as off limits if Mom is in her room?  Assuming there are no issues with folks running the stairs for another one, of course, or an emergency for your DD if she is little and might have an accident.

I'll be watching this thread with interest.  My Dad is starting to think along the lines of selling his house and moving to someplace smaller.  One of his ideas is to move in with me.   :o  I'm not sure either of us are really ready for that.  But if it happens, I'll be doing some renovations so he has his own space and won't be depending on me for all his meals.  We'd probably do dinner together but he'd have to get his own breakfast and lunch.
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Arrynne

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Re: Parent moving in--how do we make her comfortable?
« Reply #4 on: February 06, 2013, 12:29:44 PM »
When my mom moved in, we got her a TV and stereo for her room, bought a pretty comforter for her in colors she liked, and put up some family pictures in the room for her. 

Arrynne

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Re: Parent moving in--how do we make her comfortable?
« Reply #5 on: February 06, 2013, 04:04:47 PM »
Speaking of things to iron out ahead of time...A big issue in our house was control of the TV remote.   Let me start by saying that my husband and I were in our mid-twenties when my mother moved in with us.  Old enough to be used to being on our own, but young enough to have difficulty laying down the law to our parents.  My mom watched TV constantly, and took over the living room TV while my husband and I were at work.  No problem there. My husband started getting irritated that he couldn't lounge in front of the TV when he got home and watch -his- show.  I finally negotiated a deal that my husband was in-control of the TV for the first hour after he arrived home.  Mom would move back to her room if she was in the middle of a show. It worked out for us. 

Spriggy

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Re: Parent moving in--how do we make her comfortable?
« Reply #6 on: February 06, 2013, 05:18:18 PM »
What about laundry?  Do you get first priority on weekends or weekday evenings?  Will she expected to wash any "family" items (kitchen towels, etc.)?

What about common household supplies (laundry detergent, dishwasher soap, cleaning supplies, toilet paper, etc.)?  Will you be providing those?  Will she be expected to buy her own or chip in money?

What about food?  Will she have her own?  Provide money for common groceries?


QueenofAllThings

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Re: Parent moving in--how do we make her comfortable?
« Reply #7 on: February 06, 2013, 08:32:55 PM »
First - I have no experience with this.

But, from what I've observed, the kitchen is often the biggest issue. 2 women sharing a kitchen space can get crazy fast. So have a chat and lay the ground rules.

dietcokeofevil

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Re: Parent moving in--how do we make her comfortable?
« Reply #8 on: February 06, 2013, 08:53:34 PM »
My grandmother (Dad's mother) moved in with my parents when I was born, so I saw first hand some of the issues.

Assuming your daughter is young enough to need childcare, do you expect your mother to provide it and how often?   
 
What household tasks do you expect her to do, if any, and what would you rather she not do?  One issue that used to bother my mother , was Granny would get into her head that she was going to do something and would expect my mom to drop everything to help her. 

Think about the different activities your family currently does.  Does she expect to go with you whenever you are going out? 





VorFemme

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Re: Parent moving in--how do we make her comfortable?
« Reply #9 on: February 06, 2013, 09:17:48 PM »
When I was in first grade (it's been a while - JFK was assassinated that school year) - my father's parents and baby sister moved in with us for a while, waiting to find a place to buy after selling the family farm (Grandpa's health). 

It was an older Victorian house - two bedrooms & two bathrooms & two kitchens (!) downstairs, laundry on the back porch, a large living room and dining room.  Upstairs had two more bedrooms & an open area over the stairs that was the play area for the four of us kids (well, three & a toddler) until my grandparents found a rental house to try living in "in town".

Two kitchens made it a much nicer house to share, let me tell you!  Grandma might join Mom in the big old kitchen for a family event (Easter, Thanksgiving, Christmas, etc.) or serve her smaller family in HER kitchen while Mom fixed dinner for the six of us in the dining room (larger kitchen didn't have a table in it that I recall, but I just might not remember the layout perfectly).

I think that a lock on Grandma's two doors (to hall and to shared bathroom) is a good idea.  Perhaps a curtain in the doorway that could be left closed for general privacy but drawn back to indicate that grandchildren can visit - with the door shut for times when REAL privacy is preferred (sleeping, changing clothes, etc.)?

A small area with a coffee maker, a dorm sized fridge, and possibly a microwave (or two out of the three that Grandma could if space is an issue) and a tiny table/desk and chair might make a "sitting area" for times when she wants to be alone to read, drink a cup of coffee, and watch HER favorite tv show.  Being able to sit in a rocker or arm chair would probably be better for her than having ONLY the bed to sit on. 

The idea would be more of a bed-sitting room than a studio apartment (she isn't sleeping on a sofa bed, a futon on a frame, or something uncomfortable because it is one piece of furniture being used two ways).  I've liked the way daybeds looked as "couches" but found that the frames caused issues with people trying to sleep in them and they were too high off the ground to be comfortable as couches, too.....so our guest room got rearranged when we moved to the next house.....
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VltGrantham

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Re: Parent moving in--how do we make her comfortable?
« Reply #10 on: February 07, 2013, 11:09:26 AM »
Thanks for the suggestions and advice everyone.

I think we have most of the details ironed out, it's making her feel welcome, comfortable, and valued that I'm most concerned about.  I don't want her to feel like she has to hole up in her bedroom all the time.  We want to do whatever we can to make her feel welcome and appreciated, but at the same time give her her own privacy, etc.

She will have a double-bed, with her own linens and towels.  I think hanging some family pictures is a great idea and thought I might put a mirror in there as well to open the room up a little more.  The bathroom has its own lock from the outside.  She'll have a recliner in there, a small writing table, and her own TV, so I'm not worried about her taking over our areas, though she is welcome to join us.  As evidenced by my screen name, we both share a common interest in Downton Abbey, so having her come out of her room to watch it with us is fine and she's welcome to sit with us whenever she wants.  If she wants something different she'll go into her own room.

The cooking I'm not worried much about either.  DD and DH get breakfast together, then DH takes her to school.  My Mom will get up and do her own thing.  She's welcome to join us for dinner.  She'll buy her own food, but she's welcome to take ours too.  She eats out a lot (by choice) and I don't expect that to change really.  I definitely don't want her having a toaster oven or food in her room because of the potential for mess and pest problems.  A mini-fridge would be one thing, but we don't take food all over the house.  She knows all of that and hasn't asked for anything other than a shelf in the pantry and a shelf in the fridge--which we easily have.

The biggest issue we've had is visitation from her brothers, my Uncles, who live out of town.  One, because he is so nasty to DD, is not welcome to stay in our home.  He will have to stay with my Uncle who lives in town.  He can visit Mom at the house, but he cannot stay there.  And the other, who is widowed but has a girlfriend, is welcome to stay at our home, but not in the same bedroom as his girlfriend.  Mom didn't like them doing that at her house either, but didn't figure she could say anything.  We've made it clear that this is a non-negotiable policy in our home.  She has agreed to abide by this and we will take care of handling this with my Uncle should the need arise.  That was by far our biggest issue.

Now the rest is just making her feel welcome, wanted, and appreciated.