Everyone will play the roles of the dependent and the caregiver at one in point in their lifetime. Oftentimes, we assume these roles on more than one occasion and even toggle between the two identities throughout life’s ups and downs. When we were young, most of us lived with our parents in their homes, and then we parted ways when we needed to chart a new course for our lives. Many years later, life’s trials came knocking at our door.
Suppose you’ve decided to move an aging parent into your home in light of recent diagnoses, mobility restrictions, or new additions to the family. In that case, you’ll need to make the necessary preparations. There are many reasons you might want your aging parent to move into your house. With the escalating costs of nursing homes and assisted living facilities, it makes financial sense to pack up your elderly parent’s belongings and relocate them into your mother-in-law suite or backyard guesthouse.
While this living situation yields many hidden benefits, such as free babysitting services and much-needed companionship, there are a few inevitable downsides. Caregiving, however, considerate as it sounds, can pose a challenge for the impatient or overly-busy homeowner. Without putting careful thought into this transition, it can lead to fatigue, financial stress, conflict, and so forth.
To that end, before welcoming your aging parent into your home, take your time to weigh the pros and cons and answer the following questions.
What kind of care does your aging parent require?
Consider your parent’s physical and mental condition before inviting them to live in your basement, mother-in-law suite, or guest home. Then, ask yourself the following: Do they require any medical attention? Are they having any back issues? Will they need constant supervision? Consult your elderly parent’s physician to determine what kind of care they’ll require.
If you decide to take the leap, you’ll want to consider purchasing your aging parent a senior-friendly bed like the My Upbed. If you’re wondering how an adjustable bed could benefit your elderly loved one, click here, and remember that as our bodies age, we’re more prone to joint and musculoskeletal pain. To alleviate this pain, medical professionals recommend changing our standard resting position.
Luckily, these senior-friendly beds help us achieve and maintain these ideal sleeping positions. How? Unlike quick-fix solutions like pillows tucked under aching backs and necks, you can set your adjustable bed in an upright position. Now, no matter how often your aging parent tosses and turns, they’ll assume an ache-relieving sleep position from the moment they drift to sleep to the moment they wake up.
For those homeowners who need more convincing, these adjustable beds also:
• Boost blood circulation
• Promote healthy breathing
• Reduce back pain
Not to mention, this innovative sleep technology also helps bedridden seniors by improving mobility, relieving arthritis-related symptoms, and reducing the chances of developing bedsores.
Is your house big enough?
When admitting an extra person into your house, you’ll need to consider whether you have a spare room available. If all the rooms in your home are currently occupied, you’ll need to make adjustments to accommodate your aging parent.
If your budget allows, you can hire a team of contractors to build a second-story addition or a backyard guest house. For those homeowners working with a restrictive monthly budget, you can ask someone in your home to give up their space and share living quarters with another current resident.
To ensure your aging parent’s safety and well-being, it would help if you made adjustments to facilities like the bathroom. If your parent is in a wheelchair, install a senior-friendly bathtub or shower to facilitate their mobility.
How well do you get along with your parent?
To most, taking care of their elderly parents is a fulfilling endeavor, as it’s the most opportune time to return the favor and show your appreciation for the years spent raising and nurturing you. However, the truth, relationships with parents can deteriorate throughout your lifetime.
Therefore, it would be prudent to consider your relationship with your parent before they move in. A strained relationship adds more stress and burnout, which is neither good for you nor your parent.
How will the other family members take it?
Moving your aging parent into your home not only affects you but the entire household. Before giving your elderly parent the green light, discuss it with your spouse and kids. Deliberate on how the move alters routine activities and other household arrangements.
Is your parent open to the move?
We all want our parents to be happy whether they’re living with us or not. Sit down with your parent and ask them how they feel about moving into your home. If hesitant, don’t pester them. Instead, respect their decision. You could also give them time to think about it if they don’t respond with a definite “no.”
Unfortunately, elderly folks often have difficulties adjusting to a new environment, even if it’s a family member’s home. If getting used to the new environment poses a challenge, don’t hesitate to tweak or reconsider the proposed living situation. Ultimately, your parent’s comfortability should be a top priority.
How much help can you give?
Caregiving can be emotionally draining. Before diving headfirst into the transition, ask yourself the following questions. Realistically, what help can you offer? How long are you willing to endure this living arrangement? Does your routine allow for an additional obligation?
When answering these questions, be honest with yourself. Don’t put unnecessary pressure on yourself if this time commitment and financial commitment doesn’t lie within the realm of possibility. Because you can’t pour from an empty glass, you’ll need to meet your own needs before committing to a full-time caretaker role.
If you feel overwhelmed at the proposition of your aging parent living within arm’s reach, consider hiring a caregiver who can attend to their needs while you run errands or work your nine-to-five.
In most cases, our parents are the most cherished loved ones in our lives. While most children dream of watching their parents lead happy and self-sufficient lives, sadly, the reality is that our parents will grow old and suffer from declining health at some point. At a particular stage of life, living alone is no longer a feasible or safe option.
While our first response to a devastating diagnosis or traumatic accident may be to invite our parents to live with us, don’t forget to work out the logistics. Though this experience may be fulfilling, it would help if you asked yourself the previously mentioned questions before finalizing plans.