If you have an aging relative, particularly a parent or parents, you might consider whether or not it’s the right time to have them move in with you. Having your parents move in can give you peace of mind, help keep them from feeling lonely, and if you have children, they might also be able to help with their care.
At the same time, it’s not without possible pitfalls. For example, as people age, they’re more prone to slip and fall accidents, so you may have to make modifications to your home.
You also have to consider whether you’re ready for such a long-term commitment, which would undoubtedly be a lifestyle change for your family.
The following are considerations to keep in mind before you make this big decision.One out of every four caregivers lives with the elderly or disabled loved one he or she cares for. Here are some things to consider if you plan on being a caregiver for an elderly parent! Click To Tweet
CHECKLIST FOR MOVING ELDERLY PARENTS INTO YOUR HOME
What Level of Care Will Your Aging Parent Need?
If your parents are in their 60s or even their 70s and relatively healthy, they might be able to come into your home and contribute to how things operate from day to day. However, if your parent is older or is struggling with a mental or physical health condition, you’ll have to think about the level of care they might need and whether you’re able to provide that.
If you work full-time, having someone move in who’s entirely or nearly wholly dependent on you may not be feasible. For example, you might have to manage medications, help them do daily tasks like bathing or getting dressed, and take them to and from appointments.
Are you able to manage your parents’ physical limitations or chronic illnesses? How much assistance can you realistically provide?
What’s Your Relationship with Your Aging Parents Like?
If you have a strained relationship with your parents, you may think having them move in with you now that they’re older could help things. The reality is that’s not always the case.
If you don’t get along well with your parents, or you often have conflicts when you’re together, this will not only affect you but the other people who live in your home, including your children.
Your mental wellness and spouse and children are essential, even if you feel obligated to have your parents move in with you. You need to be honest with yourself about whether or not you think you can live together peacefully.
Preparing for Elderly Parent to Move in
As we mentioned above, even relatively healthy older people may be more likely to fall and get into accidents around the house. If you have stairs in your home, how would that affect your aging parents?
Would you have to make modifications for your house to be livable for your parents now or in the future? If so, how will you cover those costs?
If you’re going to give your parents a bedroom in your home, is it accessible based on their mobility needs? Is there a bathroom nearby? Would this force someone else in your family to give up their space? How much privacy could you all have?
Also, an inevitable part of this conversation is how you’ll manage expenses. If you're talking about having both parents move in, you’re going to be bringing another person or perhaps two other people into your home. This is going to be costly.
Statistics indicate families spend more than $10,400 a year on care for older parents when they live with them. Additionally, more than 70% of caregivers miss time from work, which can then financially impact you.
Can your parents contribute to expenses? Do you have other relatives who can contribute to the cost of care?
How Does the Rest of Your Family Feel?
From your siblings to your spouse and children, how does everyone feel about a potential move for your aging parents? Try to talk to everyone one-on-one.
A big priority will have to be how your kids will feel if your kids are apprehensive or don’t necessarily want your parent to move in, listen to why. Is your spouse supportive, and what is their relationship like with your parent?
Is this something your parent is even open to?
Overall, being a caregiver can be challenging, as can living in a multigenerational household in general. You will have to weigh many factors, but be truthful with yourself about what the situation might entail instead of only painting a rosy picture in your mind.