As a loving son or daughter, it is natural for you to immediately think that your elderly parent should move in with you and your family especially if he or she is living alone. While other families find this set-up ideal and beneficial, it is not always the best choice for everyone. Consider the following pointers, before you decide whether your aging parent should live with you:
Consider Your Family’s Relationship with Your Parent
Before you start making plans or encouraging your mom or dad to stay with you, make sure to discuss this possibility with your spouse and children. Listen to what they have to say and be sensitive about how they feel about the situation.
Do not forget to consider their relationship with your parent as well. Are they close, or do they usually argue? If your spouse and children can hardly stand your parent when they meet during family occasions, it would be unreasonable to expect that they will all get along when you all live together under one roof.
Consider Your Relationship with Your Parent
Be honest and assess your own relationship with your parent as well. If there are unresolved issues between the two of you or if your relationship has always been problematic, then living together may add more tension in your relationship. While you may be tempted to think that living together can be an opportunity for you to finally improve your relationship, you should be realistic enough to admit that your relationship with your parent will not automatically change for the better just because your living situations changed.
Consider Your Parent’s Needs and What You Can Provide
Inviting your aging parent to move in does not only mean giving him or her a place to stay, it means you are your parent’s primary caregiver. Ask yourself if you have the time and resources to fully assist your parent. This is particularly important if your parent is already suffering from physical or mental health issues. Even If this is not the case, you also need to think about your parent’s future needs as he or she continuous to age and the level of support you can provide.
Consider How the Living Situation Will Affect Your Home Life
Imagine that your parent is already moving with you next week. Do you already have a room for him or her? Is your home “adult-friendly” (with ramps, grab bars, etc.)? Who will take care of your parent’s needs if you are at work? These are just some of the things you should ask yourself so you would know if you wouldn’t have any problems letting your parent move in with you.
Consider Your Limitations
As much as you want to care for your aging parent, you should honestly think about what you can or cannot do for him or her. Do you have enough money to shoulder the added expense? Do you have the time and energy to be truly there for your mom or dad? Can you handle the stress of having to juggle your time and attention to your family and aging parent?
The pointers discussed above can help you to objectively determine if living with your elderly parent is best not only for you but your parent as well. Should you later decide that living together is not beneficial in your situation, note that there are other options you can consider (e.g. independent living, assisted living, etc.) to express how much you care.
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What do you think about the pointers mentioned here? Did you find them helpful? Do you think living with your elderly parent is the best option for you? We want to know your thoughts, please share them at the comment section below.