5 FACTORS TO CONSIDER WHEN MOVING ELDERLY PARENTS INTO YOUR HOME
Although many cultures throughout the world make it a practice to care for elderly parents in the home, Americans tend to place a higher priority on the nuclear family than the care of extended relatives. That said, the recent recession has brought about many changes in the way adults are approaching their finances and finding ways to save money.
One unexpected change has been the resurgence of families setting up granny flats and moving their elderly relatives into their homes. They are eschewing assisted living facilities and practicing at home instead senior care, and saving some money in the process. This is a positive turn of events for many families that are discovering the joys of having older parents participating more in family life.
Of course, there are several things you need to think about before deciding to care for an elderly loved one at home in Birmingham AL. You need to make sure the situation is right for you, your family, and your parents. Here are just a few factors to consider.
- Needed Care
Are your senior parents relatively active and independent or will they require supervision and care? Is an elderly parent suffering from a condition that requires you to be available around the clock, always there in home care?
Will you have to modify your home to accommodate a wheelchair or other needed medical equipment for an elderly parent? It’s important to understand going into the situation exactly what will be expected of you in terms of caregiving.
Your parents are not going to get younger. Even if they’re healthy and active now, they may not remain so. If they’re already in need of care, you might have to make time to provide it or hire home care associates. Even so, it could cost less than moving parents into an assisted living facility or a full-time care location. Either way, you need to know what is required before you take on the burden of caring for elderly individuals, even loved ones.
- Home Size
This is a biggie. Do you actually have room in your home to accommodate more residents? Many adults are able to renovate areas of the home, like a basement, attic, or other little-used spaces in order to create a suitable living space for elderly parents, while others have an extra bedroom already available.
In either case, however, you need to be aware of the fact that your parents are adults. They not only need their own space and some measure of independence and privacy in some cases, but you need these things, too. If your home is not large enough to accommodate, you could quickly find yourself in an untenable living situation.
- Combined Finances
Any time you have more adults living in your household you can reasonably anticipate that all will contribute to the upkeep and expenses of the home. Is this a possibility with your elderly parents?
If they are selling a home to move in with you, can you combine finances, sell both homes, and buy something larger that will better accommodate your growing family? Or if there is no home to sell, can your elderly parent contribute funds from retirement accounts or social security income?
When you take on the responsibility of another mouth to feed, even if it is a beloved family member, it’s best to get the financial aspects squared away up front so as to set expectations and avoid potential damage to relationships in the long run.
Do you get along with your parents? It’s important to be honest about this going in. You can love your parents and still not get along with them. Even a great relationship can be put under strain when you live together, and, over time, a contentious relationship is bound to get worse by being forced into close proximity.
- Family Dynamics
Wanting to care for your elderly parents is a noble sentiment, and wanting to save some money in the process makes good financial sense. However, you can’t forget to take the feelings of your spouse and children into consideration.
When you move new people into the home, even parents/grandparents, you’re going to change the family dynamic. You will want to make sure everyone is on board and willing to participate in making the new living arrangements work for all involved.