If you are an adult child considering having a parent move in with you, you may need to stop and consider the full range of options at your disposal as well as the financial, physical, and emotional burdens you may be taking on. With the average age in the United States continuing to rise, more and more adult children are finding themselves tasked with making this choice. For some, it is a matter of eliminating extra errands they may also have been running for their parents, or it could be that they wish to spend the remaining years of their parent’s lives nearby. Whatever the reason, it’s important to ask some serious questions before making the ultimate decision.
How do other family members feel about it?
You may consider this idea as a solution to some or all of your problems. However, you need to deliberate whether it will create new challenges for yourself and other family members. Some members of your family may not be as excited by the idea, For example, will your children have to give up a bedroom or playroom? Will yourself or a spouse have to give up an office? Does your significant other get along well with your/their parents? Most important of all is finding out how your senior feel about the move in, and learning what requirements or apprehensions they may have about the move are. It’s essential to gauge all party’s reactions to ensure that no one feels left out or minimized during this process.
Can your house accommodate another person?
Having a senior parent or relative move in can be an excellent chance for different changes to connect and build memories, but it can also be viewed as a loss of privacy for everyone else. Married couples and children may not be used to having another party involved in their daily lives, and considering that these seniors may be retired, they may spend significant portions of time at home. They may also have specific dietary requirements and sleep schedules that could prevent other family members from engaging in certain activities. Unless your home has some separate wing or suite, moving in elderly parents could mean that your whole family loses personal space. Think about how much time your senior will spend at home, what activities they will enjoy, and what restrictions may be placed on yourself or your children.
Can your house accommodate your senior’s medical needs?
This is an especially important question as it pertains to your seniors continued health and life longevity. Not all homes are designed to be senior-friendly. You should consider whether your house can accommodate the specific medical requirements of your senior loved one. For example, having step-free showers, motion activated lighting, safe stairs with handrails, or grab bars for baths. Any number of standard household appliances and locations could be hazardous for a senior. Many seniors have trouble with mobility, vision, and hearing, so you’ll need to ensure that your house is easy to navigate and your appliances are easy to use. If your senior needs medical monitoring, you may also need to enlist the services of a full-time nurse or another medical practitioner. Even if they do not require those things now, how much time will it be until they do?
Can you afford to have your senior move in?
You may initially consider this option because it is the most financially viable, but there are many costs associated with moving in that get overlooked. If your senior has or will develop worsening mobility, vision, and hearing issues, you will need to pay for home renovations to create step free showers, wider doorways, possibly motorized chairs for ascending stairs, and more. There are also the added expenses such as providing food, water, transportation, entertainment, and other things that you may not have considered at first. If your senior requires medical attention, as many seniors in advanced age do, you will need to pay considerably to enlist an at home nurse or caregiver. If you intend to become the primary caregiver for your parent, you may need to cut back on work hours, which could disrupt your income considerably.
Can your senior family member contribute financially?
If your senior family member can contribute to paying your rent or mortgage, it may be worth having a discussion with them about what portion of their costs they can cover. It’s helpful to reach out to siblings or other family members to see if they are willing or able to assist you in taking care of your relative. This subject is challenging but can be approached delicately to ensure that emotions are not overcharged. Your senior may also be eligible for government assistance, such as with Medicaid, or if they are a veteran, you could even offset some of the costs by applying for veteran pension benefits such as Aid and Attendance and Housebound. These pension benefits can go towards paying for care-giving.
Are there better options available?
While keeping an elderly relative at your residence could work short term, it is far more difficult to take care of them long-term despite your best efforts and intentions. Paying someone to be their caregiver can work, but if they are restricted to your household with only their caregiver as company, they may feel socially isolated and unhappy, leading to depression. You should consider the possibility of enrolling in an assisted living community for seniors. These types of communities can provide the right kind of medical care, social environment for seniors, and friendly housing to help your loved one live their golden years happily.
If you are unsure about the financial, physical, or emotional requirements that will entail having senior parents move in, 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 senior living facility, take the first step today and reach out to our passionate staff at Landmark Senior Living.