Should Your Aging Parent Move In With You?

One out of every four caregivers lives with an older adult that they care for. There are many advantages to this relationship; depending on your loved one’s situation, they can help around the house, contribute financially, or get to know their grandchildren in ways they wouldn’t otherwise. Read more to learn about the various factors to consider if you are thinking of housing your aging parent.

What to Consider if You Are Thinking of Inviting Your Aging Parent to Move-In

There are benefits of having your aging parent move in with you. However, not every situation is the same. There are some families and aging parents that do better with different arrangements. You and your family should make the best choice for you.

Start by considering the following:

Appraise the medical situation your loved one is in. Before you extend the invitation, think about what your loved one’s needs are objectively. Start by asking yourself these questions:

  • What is this person’s physical and mental condition?
  • What kind of illnesses do they have?
  • Do they need constant supervision or just assistance throughout the day?
  • What types of daily activities can they do independently?
  • What kind of medical care do they need, and how will they get there?

If your loved one is still able to live without assistance, this may be the perfect time for them to move in with you. It may be easier for them to get a feel for their surroundings. However, take into account that your loved one’s state will most likely change as they grow older.

Think about what you can give. Becoming a caregiver, especially a full-time caregiver, can be an overwhelming commitment. It’s far better to make this commitment on the grounds of honesty rather than fantasy. Think about how:

  • You may not be able to accommodate their growing need for care. If you have your own family, a job, and social life, it may be too stressful to care for your parent as they grow older and need more care.
  • Be realistic about how you may have limits. Consider if you are comfortable with doing things like changing your parent’s diapers or helping them bathe. Can you help them take their pills or keep them accountable for going to the doctor? If some of those things make you uncomfortable, perhaps you should consider hiring someone as an in-home aide.
  • Think about your health and life. Consider whether or not you will be able to take care of yourself mentally and physically if your parent moves in.

Continued

You and your loved one’s relationship. Every family has issues. There may be things from the past that you still carry feelings about that has to do with your parent. Even though you may love your parent and want to give back to them, you should not overlook anything that may be unresolved.

Attempt to:

  • Resolve any past conflicts.
  • Think about how adding them to your home will affect the other members of your family.
  • Center your parent in conversations about moving in with you.
  • Know that certain illnesses can shift your parent’s personality and make living with them a different experience than you may have thought it would be.

Can your home accommodate your loved one? The best type of setup is where your loved one does not need to walk up any stairs. If that is not possible in your home, you may have to install a stairlift. Other considerations might be:

  • Is the bathroom easily accessible and easy to use for your loved one?
  • Will your parent be able to have their own bedroom? 
  • How will their living with you affect the space in your home?
  • Are you going to need to renovate your house to make it more accessible for your parent?

Consider the financials. This is an element that must involve the entire family, especially if you have siblings. Things to consider are:

  • Whether or not your parent can contribute to the household finances; do this before they move in.
  • Pool your parent’s resources, your resources, and the resources of your siblings to come up with the best solution for your loved one.
  • Figure out whether or not you or your other family members can get paid for taking care of them.

Unfortunately, most people end up paying out of pocket to take care of their loved one. Usually, this involves doing things like cutting back on vacations, dipping into savings, and budgeting.

WebMD Feature Reviewed by Melinda Ratini, DO, MS on September 15, 2021

Sources

SOURCES:

Family Caregiver Alliance: “Home Away from Home: Relocating Your Parents,” “Changing Places: Should Your Parents Move in with You?”

SeniorNavigator: “10 Factors to Consider Before Moving Your Elderly Parents In.”

© 2021 WebMD, LLC. All rights reserved.

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