We all hope that our parents can live out the happy, healthy, independent lives they deserve. Unfortunately, that’s not always the case. As we get older, our body’s systems begin to weaken, increasing the chances of developing health problems that reduce the ability to complete everyday tasks. Ultimately, a decision must be made to ensure their needs are met.
Many people decide that the best solution for their parent’s safety and well-being is to care for their loved ones themselves. Although it’s a huge undertaking, it’s the most practical way to be there when aging relatives need you most. As you prepare for this major life change, here are some things worth considering.
Having your aging parents move in with you will impact the entire family. Before making the shift, talk to your significant other and kids about what will occur. Explain why the move is necessary, what having your parents in the home entails, and what assistance you may need from them to ensure the transition goes smoothly. Allow them to speak about the hardships this might produce for them and try to come to a resolution to reduce or eliminate issues before they arise.
The next consideration is the living arrangements. You must think about where your elderly parents will stay in your house. Ideally, you want them to be in a comfortable and convenient space. They’ll need easy access to the bathroom and kitchen. You’ll also need to provide somewhere for them to sleep and entertain themselves.
Evaluate the rooms in your home to see which will be most accommodating. Then clean up, remove any tripping hazards, install guards or rails, add lighting, and incorporate furniture and decor for comfort.
Depending on your parents’ health status, they may require a lot of assistance with everyday activities. Putting the entire responsibility on you and your family can be physically and emotionally taxing. Therefore, you should consider your options. You could enlist the help of extended family or opt for a home care provider.
A home health aide can assist with anything from cooking and cleaning to medication administration and in home Alzheimer’s care. Their medical backgrounds and experience with senior care ensure that your loved ones get the assistance they need while lightening your load.
Caring for an elderly parent comes with financial obligations. There will be increases in your utility and grocery expenses. You’ll also need to consider healthcare and entertainment. Review your parent’s finances to determine what they have to contribute. Most seniors have a retirement savings, pension, and social security payments. Whatever costs their income and savings doesn’t cover, you’ll need to factor into your household budget.
Fortunately, many cities offer financial assistance and free services to low-income families and seniors to reduce your out of pocket expenses. If you’re eligible, you could get affordable health insurance, prescriptions, medical supplies, meal services, and more.
The final consideration when having mom and dad move in your home is yourself. As being a caretaker comes with physical, emotional, and financial responsibilities, you want to ensure you’re prepared. Adopt healthy lifestyle practices and develop routines that enable you to prioritize your health and wellness.
You’re also encouraged to talk to other adult children and caretakers to get a general idea of what to expect. They can provide a wealth of support and advice when you need it most. Finally, find ways to make time to do things you enjoy and spend time with your significant other and kids regularly to reduce familial conflict and stress.
Many adult children decide to move elderly relatives when they’re unable to live independently. If this is the best option for you, it’s essential to understand the full scope of what this transition will entail. By assessing the above considerations prior to moving day, you can ease the frustration and overcome many of the common obstacles people experience. Although it won’t be easy, having a plan in place ensures you can be there for your family with less stress.