Most people wish to remain in their own home for as long as possible as they age, but there may come a point when you start to wonder if it would be better for your aging parents to live with you. In fact, one in four caregivers lives with the elderly loved one they care for.
This can make caring for them more convenient and give you the peace of mind that comes from having them nearby around the clock, and it also provides a valuable opportunity to bond with other members of your family. However, it can also come with stress and strained relations within your family.
Should Aging Parents Live With You?
Here is a look at some factors to consider when deciding whether your aging parents should live with you.
How Much Assistance Can You Provide?
You need to think realistically about what you will be able to do for your aging parents if they move in with you. If you have a full-time job and young children living in your home, think about the impact that taking in someone who requires a lot of assistance could have on everyone.
For example, if your parent will need assistance going to the bathroom multiple times each night, it could lead to sleep deprivation for you and other family members. You should also ask yourself if you are comfortable helping your parent if they need assistance with activities like bathing and going to the bathroom.
Is Your Home Safe For Elderly People?
Before you allow your aging parents to move in with you, you need to ensure that your home is a safe environment for them. If they have mobility issues, they should have a bedroom on the first floor so they do not need to climb any stairs. Alternatively, you could consider installing an automatic stair lift or a ramp if your budget allows. You should also ensure that a bathroom will be available on the same floor where your parents will be staying and that it is big enough to handle wheelchairs or walkers if they use them.
Another consideration is whether one of your children will need to give up a bedroom to accommodate your elderly parent. Would your children be able to share a bedroom, or would this cause too much stress in the family? You might also consider the possibility of converting a den or office into a bedroom. Ask yourself if everyone in the home will have an appropriate level of privacy and whether you can afford any renovations that would be necessary to accommodate your parent.
What Kind Of Care Will Your Parent Need?
If your aging parent is still relatively healthy and independent but you are worried about social isolation, it may be a good time to move them in so they can become accustomed to their new surroundings while they are still fairly independent. However, if your parent is suffering from a chronic illness, you need to find out as much as you can about it, including their condition right now and what you can expect in the future.
Will Your Parent Contribute Financially?
You also need to consider the financial ramifications of moving your aging parents into your home. Having additional people in the household can be a financial drain, but if your parent is able to contribute to the household and help with rent, groceries, or any renovations needed to prepare the home for them, it can lighten your financial burden.
You need to decide in advance how finances will be handled and have open discussions about this before your parent moves in. By pooling everyone’s financial resources, you may be able to buy or rent a home that is much bigger and more comfortable for everyone as compared to a home either of you could afford individually.
You also need to consider how your siblings might feel about your parents’ financial contributions to your household when they are living with you to avoid resentment and disagreements.
How Will Other People In The Household Feel About The Situation?
Many children do not spend much time around older members of the family, so having your aging parents move in with you could provide a valuable opportunity for them to get to know their grandparents. In addition, allowing a parent to live with you models how to take care of family to your children.
However, you need to ensure your children are prepared for any extra chores that they might have to take on, either to care for their grandparents directly or help you around the house so you can devote more time to caregiving. It is also important to understand that you and your spouse may have less time alone when your elderly parent moves in.
Get In Touch With Shepherd’s Center Of Northern Virginia
It may not always be necessary for aging parents to move in with you as they lose some of their abilities. Shepherd’s Center of Northern Virginia offers a range of services that help elderly people in our community to remain in their own home for as long as possible. Reach out today to find out about our visitor programs, food pickup and delivery, minor home repairs and senior citizen transportation services.