Building a Home With Elderly Loved Ones in Mind
Growing up, your parents kept a roof over your head. Now maybe it’s time to return the favor.
The first thing to consider when building an “in-law” living area is, of course, who you are building it for. Will both parents be moving in, or just one? Do they move around on their own fairly well, or do they need the assistance of a walker or wheelchair? Do they cherish their privacy and independence? Once you know their lifestyle, you can give them the space they want and need.
If they do need assistance to move around, think about putting the living area on the first floor to take stairs out of the equation. Even if your parent is still moving well, that could change in the coming years. This not only goes for their area, but your overall home as well. Wider hallways and open concepts help accommodate any assistance they might need.
Speaking of open concept, think about how much room your parent will need in their living space. Certainly, you hope to spend time with your loved one on a day-to-day basis, but everyone needs a little alone time now again. Make sure there is room for a sitting area, kitchen, bedroom and bathroom.
These areas don’t need to be large, but keep comfort in mind. Maybe a kitchenette is all they need that’s open to the rest of the living space. Your loved ones can always use the main kitchen to prepare bigger meals. A large dining room table wouldn’t make sense, but a simpler table with seating for two could fit nicely. Even think about what kind of furniture will be used. Recliners and sofas take up more room than you might think.
As far as the bathroom, take into account tomorrow as well as today. Safety bars around the toilet and shower, even if they don’t need it now, will allow your loved one to age in place. Speaking of the shower, a walk in style without the three inch lip on the ground is useful, as well as a bench in the shower to make bathing easier.
Also, consider how much bedroom furniture will be needed. Will they need more than a bed, dresser, and end table? How much closet space will be necessary? Make sure to take this into account while the plans are being drawn as adding a walk-in closet at the end of the project can prove to be troublesome.
Finally, with the addition of what could amount to a stand-alone apartment, prepare for extra capacity of the plumbing and wiring. Will these living quarters be part of the main service, or will they be better served having their own power on a different line?
It’s great that you are able to provide for your elderly loved ones as they did for you so many years ago. Just make sure you take everything into consideration before building them their space. Contact Rain Creek Construction for more information on building your home with separate living quarters for your parents.