What to Consider Before Moving an Aging Parent In with You
Caring for an elderly parent often requires you to juggle their desire for independence and privacy with your desire to protect them from harm. While many seniors hope they can stay in their own home as they age, that isn’t always the safest solution. When the older adult’s need for more care becomes obvious, families often consider moving the senior in with them.
Is combining households really a good long-term solution? Or just a temporary arrangement while you seek a more permanent situation?
Here’s what to think through and discuss before you make a decision.
Should You Move an Aging Parent In to Your Own Home?
1. Will your elderly parent be safe?
Safety is often the driving factor in moving an aging parent in with an adult child. It’s essential that you take an objective look at not only your home but your schedule. Does your house present hazards an older person may struggle to navigate?
For example, do you have an accessible shower and a ground-floor bedroom for them? Are doorways able to accommodate a wheelchair or walker? Will your family’s busy schedule and work responsibilities mean the senior is home alone a lot? When you can’t be home, is a friend or another family member available to provide assistance?
There are a number of home remodelers who specialize in modifying homes to make them safer for seniors. The catch, though, is that these modifications often come at a high financial cost.
2. How do other family members feel about this idea?
This arrangement might seem ideal to an overwhelmed adult child, but not all members of your family may feel the same way. Is this a decision everyone, including any children still living at home, can accept? Are the relationships between your spouse or partner and your senior loved one strong enough to make this work?
How about the aging parent’s other children? Will they feel comfortable visiting your home, and will they be able to pitch in to help with caregiving tasks?
While any big change like this one will require a period of adjustment, you don’t want to risk permanent rifts among family members.
3. Can the home be set up to allow each person their privacy?
Unless you’re fortunate enough to have a separate in-law suite or second master bedroom and bathroom, moving an aging parent in can make for tight living quarters. The loss of privacy can be tough, not only on an older adult accustomed to living alone but also on married couples and grandchildren.
Be sure to walk through your home and carefully consider how you might rearrange things to give each member of the household some privacy.
4. Is this really a good solution for an elderly parent?
When a parent is recovering from an illness, injury, or surgery, moving them in can be an ideal solution. The same holds true for a senior who is working through the grieving process after the death of a loved one. Short-term arrangements are often a way for an entire family to pitch in and help.
But is this really the best long-term move?
An independent senior living or assisted living community may be a better solution. These communities are designed to provide not only activities for socializing and wellness but also 24/7 support and assistance with personal care.
Before you make a final decision about moving an aging parent, you may want to visit a few of these communities. One of our experienced senior care advisors can help you explore nearby housing options. Call us at 800-304-8061. Our advice is always free!
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