Aging places many unforeseen limitations and constraints on the way we live. Sometimes, we are forced to decide whether it is time to move an aging parent into your home. This decision can be born out of necessity, or it can be something that you’ve long considered. Either way, this decision is not something to take likely. Moving in a senior could be a short-term solution for when they need time to recuperate from an illness, or it can be a long-term decision for when they are no longer able to take care of themselves within their residence.
Moving in a parent or elderly family member who has memory problems or other chronic health conditions can be a difficult and even dangerous choice. Although they may not feel safe living alone, you will be placing significant responsibility on yourself physically and financially to ensure they are alright. Whatever the reasoning is behind your decision, there are some factors you’ll need to consider before making the final choice. It’s all about weighing the pros and cons, discussing with other family members, and setting healthy boundaries for everyone. Here are a few issues for you and your family to consider.
Expectations for Care-giving
What exactly will the care taking expectations be for your senior loved one? If they have severe physical limitations or memory problems, you may need to contract the help of a specialized caregiver to ensure that your senior can function and stay safe while you are out of the house. If you plan on shouldering the responsibility of care-giving, you will need to make sure you can balance time from your workload to cater to the needs of your senior. You can also enlist the help of your siblings or other nearby family members in transporting your senior to medical appointments, picking up prescription medication, and providing hands-on care. Also, keep in mind that your senior’s condition could worsen while they are under your supervision. This could make care taking more difficult as time goes on.
Create Private Spaces
If your home does not have a dedicated guest room or suite, you may have to put up with a serious loss of privacy. Your family members may also find it difficult to put up with this sudden loss of privacy as well. If your senior must sleep in someone else’s room or shared living space, this could cause stress around the house. Consult with the entire family about where the senior could stay and come to a consensus that satisfies everyone involved.
Don’t Sacrifice Your Lifestyle
It’s important that your family not be disrupted by the addition of your senior loved one. You can still have family time and invite friends over to socialize. Take part in the same social organizations you enjoy being a part of and do not take your senior’s addition to your household as a constriction of what you can or cannot do. If needed, you can make a vacation and have other family members watch your senior. Don’t think that this burden is yours to shoulder alone. If you have no other family members available, consider paying for a private in-home caregiver or look into respite care at an assisted living community.
Don’t Fall into Old Childhood Dynamics
If your parent or parents are moving back under the same roof as you, there is a chance that childhood relationship dynamics will make a return to the scene. You might find yourself falling back into negative behavior patterns that you thought you had escaped. If you do see your position as head of the household being threatened, try to remain positive and enforce healthy boundaries between yourself and your parents.
Discuss Finances and Budget
Discussing finances and budget might be an uncomfortable topic to bring up with your senior, especially if you grew up in a household where money was not talked about. It’s essential, however, to have a good understanding of your parent’s budget requirements will be and what additional expenses you think they may incur while under your roof. If this is a short-term solution while they recover from an illness or injury, you can still ask your senior to cover any living costs on a per-need basis. If your senior is in your home for the long term, then you will need to negotiate the terms and conditions concerning not only fiduciary requirements but language, behavior, and acceptable activities. One cost that is difficult to predict is whether their aging will result in additional healthcare costs, such as home modifications.
Discuss the Possibility of Senior Housing
There may come a day when the possibility of your senior living with you becomes impossible. When this solution no longer makes sense, it may be time to consider senior housing or assisted living. If your senior needs considerable assistance when it comes to daily life, assisted living communities can offer significant help in the form of nurses, orderlies, a fully staffed kitchen, and other medical personnel in case of emergency.
If you are worried about the financial and emotional uncertainties of your senior’s retirement, then consider visiting a senior living community at one of our numerous Landmark Senior Living locations! At our senior living communities, we offer programs and services designed to enlighten and engage all residents. If you or someone you love is considering a senior living facility, take the first step today and reach out to our passionate staff at Landmark Senior Living.