Should Your Ageing Parent Move in with You?
The number of people living with their ageing parents is on the rise, and it’s not surprising considering the increasing cost of living and lower disposable incomes many families are experiencing. A quarter of all caregivers provide disabled or elderly care in their own homes, according to the National Institute of Health. There are many positives to this arrangement, but there can also be fatigue, expense and stress involved in living with your ageing parents.
It is important to consider all aspects of having your ageing parent move in with you before making this life-changing decision. It will affect all members of the household, so you should discuss the options with them before deciding what is best for everyone, and whether you are ready to provide in-home care for your loved one. The following points will help you determine whether your parent should move in with you.
Type of Care Required
Consider your loved one’s physical and mental condition and any illnesses they have before they move into your home. If they are capable of independent living and are reasonably healthy, home care may be minimal for your family - and if you have kids they can spend quality time with their grandparent. However, if you are considering moving your parent into your home, it is more likely that a crisis or health condition has acted as the catalyst for this transition. In this case, you and your family will be responsible for dealing with your parent’s illness, and their health may quickly decline to the point where they require 24/7 care. It may be a better option, if budget allows, to provide care at home, with the intention of finding a live-in carer as your loved one’s health deteriorates further. This type of private live-in care is the best option if your parent requires dementia or Alzheimer’s care.
Consider What You Can Provide
It is common for families to feel obliged or to want to bring their ageing parents into their homes as their health declines. Providing elderly care for your loved one is a way to give back some of the love, care and nurturing you may have received from him or her over the years. But this type of role reversal can be challenging for all involved, parents included. Before you make the decision, think about the following:
Be realistic - Speak with their GP to determine the type and level of care your parent will require, bearing in mind that it is likely to increase over time. Decide whether you can reasonably provide the assistance that will be needed.
Your schedule - Look at factors such as your work and whether you have children, and assess whether you have the time and energy to care for someone who needs it. Will someone else help you? Can you employ the services of a caregiver who can provide home care?
Know your limits - If your parent requires assistance with daily living tasks such as bathing and dressing, are you happy to perform these duties or would they be better off with live-in care, either in their home or yours? Do they require specialist dementia care, or are they more physically disabled?
Mikis’ care story
In this short video, Nick and Maro explain their reasons for choosing Elder live-in care.
They discuss how live-in care has allowed Nick’s father Mikis to stay independent in his own home while making a new friend at the same time.
Consider Your Relationship
Do you get on well? Look at the history of your relationship to decide whether or not you think you could live together, let alone care for their needs. Some conflict in a relationship is normal, but you must consider quality of life for both your parent and your family. If you are not close or do not get along, living in close quarters with each other is unlikely to remedy the situation. Try and be realistic about your relationship to determine whether or not you think you can live together in harmony.
Is Your Home Accommodating to Their Needs?
Depending on the needs of your loved one, your home may be accommodating, or it may require some alterations. Think about whether you will need wheelchair access; can they climb the stairs; do they need grab bars to bathe; can you afford to make renovations? Once you have considered your home, your ageing parent’s needs and your budget for renovations, you will be able to determine whether your home is appropriate for them to live in.
Having a family member move into your home can be expensive unless they are contributing financially. There are options: your parent pays you rent; your parent pays for any home renovations to prepare for them to live there; you combine resources and move into a different property that will suit all members of the family; you ask your siblings for a contribution towards the cost of care. However, if you can afford private care, it is the least stressful option, taking the pressure off both you and your loved one.
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