What to Consider Before You Move an Aging Parent In
Multi-generational households are on the rise. In 2012, 18% of the population lived in a household that was home to more than one generation. That number has doubled since 1980.
More and more baby boomers find themselves considering what the right living environment for an aging parent should be. A senior living community? Home care in their private home? Or moving the older adult in with them?
For sandwich caregivers who have children of their own living at home the pros and cons need to be carefully considered. From family conflict to greater demands on household finances, there is much to think about.
Weighing Your Options When an Aging Parent Needs to Move
If you’re thinking about moving a senior loved one into your home, here are a few considerations to weigh:
- What type and how much care does your elder loved one need?
Consider the extent of support your family member one needs. Will you be able to provide it? Also think about exactly what type of assistance they require. Will you both be comfortable if you have to help them with bathing, dressing, or going to the bathroom? If not, you may need to hire a professional caregiver. With the cost of private duty home care averaging $20 an hour in the U.S., those expenses can quickly add up.
- Do you have enough senior-friendly space in your home?
You and your loved one both need privacy. Is your home set up to allow for that? Can your loved one easily access important rooms in the house such as the bathroom and kitchen?
Home modifications and common renovations like handicap equipping bathrooms with handrails in showers and tubs may be necessary.
- How will the new addition to the household impact family finances?
The expenses associated with caregiving can be significant. From food to utilities and transportation, it’s important to carefully consider whether or not this is an affordable option.
- How does the rest of the family feel about this potential move?
Do your spouse and parent get along well enough to live under one roof? How will your children be impacted? This will be a big lifestyle adjustment for the entire family. You need to be realistic about how well everyone will adapt.
- How well do you and your aging loved one get along?
Living together can put stress on even the closest of relationships. If you and your elder family member already have a strained relationship, the stress of living under one roof may make it worse. Think through how you will handle the shift from adult child to parenting your parent.
The bottom line is to carefully weigh your options and think through the pros and cons before taking the leap. It will help you choose the senior living option that is best for your loved one and your family.
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