There are many reasons why adult children and senior parents consider multigenerational living. Often, there are concerns about the ability of elderly parents to take adequate care of themselves. Moving a parent into your home may be seen as an alternative to assisted care if that is something that an elderly parent is hesitant about. Before deciding to move your parents into your home, there are some important considerations you have to take into the decision process.
What Your Relationship With Your Parents Is Like
If your relationship with your parents is strained, moving in together is unlikely to resolve them automatically. In fact, close proximity is more likely to exacerbate the existing issues. Whatever conflict may remain unresolved in your relationship with your parent, you should work this out before making any final decisions to move them into your home.
If your relationship with your parent seems stable now, you should still consider whether living alongside them will change the dynamic. It’s also crucial to consider your partner’s relationship with your parents.
How the Move Will Affect Other Members of Your Family
Providing elderly care in your own home doesn’t only affect you and your parents. Your decision also involves your spouse and children and any other members living at home with you. They may have to take on some of the responsibility for your parent’s care or make other sacrifices to make the arrangement work. Therefore, you should communicate thoroughly with all the members of your household, as well as your parents, to determine whether multigenerational living is the best decision for everyone.
It is not only the family members you live with whom the decision will affect. Speak with your siblings to ensure that the move will also not impact your relationship together or their relationship with the parents.
How Will You Balance Providing Elderly Care With Other Obligations
While becoming a caregiver for your senior parents can be very fulfilling, it can also put you under high-stress levels. This is especially true if you also work a full-time job. The extra stress can take a toll on your health, leading to health issues such as exhaustion, depression, and anxiety.
You have to be sure that you can take care of your own needs, or you won’t meet those of your parents. Online and in-person support groups for caregivers can be sources of understanding as well as helpful advice. You may also have to turn to outside sources for help with your parents’ care, such as home health services.
What Kind of Care Your Parent Needs, Now and in the Future
As of now, your parents’ physical and medical needs may be minimal and easy to meet. However, their health could deteriorate over time. If they currently have a progressive condition in its early stages, you already know that there will be a decline. In either case, think about not only how you will meet your parents’ current needs but whether you can provide adequate care in the future.
As you’re thinking about this, consider your own personal limitations. Your parents may require help with personal care tasks, such as dressing and bathing. Be honest with yourself about whether you are comfortable performing these tasks and, if not, either consider an alternative arrangement or seek the help of someone who can do for your parents what you cannot.
What Modifications Does Your Home Need To Make It Comfortable and Accessible
For your senior parents to have adequate space and privacy, you may have to renovate your home or build additional space for it. If your parents have mobility concerns or have a condition that could cause them in the future, you may have to make modifications to your home to make it more accessible.
What Are the Financial Aspects of Providing Elderly Care
Many family caregivers consider moving a parent into their home in the interest of saving money on long-term care. However, there are out-of-pocket costs involved in caregiving even beyond modifications to your home that can run to thousands of dollars per year. Whether you can afford these expenses should factor into your decision. Consider whether your parents can or should contribute to household finances and, if so, how much.
There may be resources available to help you offset the cost of caregiving. There are federal programs that pay caregivers for providing for family members, and some states may offer additional programs. You may also be able to take advantage of deductions on your income taxes.
Moving your parents into your home may be the best solution when their needs are minimal, and you have lots of support. If multigenerational living is not ideal for your family, assisted living may be a better option for your parents.