As seniors age, it becomes more and more common that they are unable to live on their own. When this time comes, you and your parent may become riddled with stress and confusion because of all of the options available – options such as senior living, supportive care, home care, respite care and a wide array of other services. An option now rising in popularity is moving aging parents in with their adult children. However, before moving Mom or Dad in with you, it’s important to consider some potential challenges, such as what may need to be adapted in the home, how your life will change and why it may not be the ideal situation for yourself or your parent.
According to Sue Sunderland, Executive Director at The Bridges at Warwick, a senior living community in Jamison, PA, moving aging parents in with adult children is an option that should not be taken lightly. “Many times, adult children see it as their job to take care of their mom and dad when they age,” Sue states. “While this is true to an extent, caring for your mom or dad reaches far beyond living with them, and many of these aspects are often overlooked. Caring for them as they age also means allowing them the independence they need, companionship and socialization they desire and, most of all, the care they deserve. It’s not always easy to do all of these things when you have a family of your own to care for, especially when a loved one’s abilities decrease and care needs increase. This is why it is so important to make sure your home is prepared and you have the ideal setting for them to be in.”
Is Your Home Ready for Mom or Dad to Move In? Are you?
Before you move your mom or dad in, be sure to assess your home to see if it will fit their needs. If not, it may be possible that you will need to change or fix certain aspects or you may need to find another option. Other aspects of your life will also change as a result of your mom or dad living with you. You may want to consider the following points before moving your parent in:
Where will your mom or dad stay? When you move your parents in, it’s important to consider their future care needs. Your mom or dad may be able to navigate stairs right now, but what about in the future? Try to place your parent in the most accessible area of your home. Try to keep loved ones on a floor that has easy access to a bathroom, the kitchen and the bedroom, if possible.
Who will help to pay for expenses of adaptations to the home? As care needs change, certain features of the home may need to be adapted. Big installations, such as a chair lift, or smaller purchases, such as non-slip rugs, nightlights and stair rails, will likely be needed. Consider the financial implications. Will you pay for this on your own, will your parent help or are siblings willing to pitch in?
What rules will need to be put into place? It is important, especially if you have children, to set the rules for how things will be once your parent moves in. Will your children need to pick up some of the chores, such as washing dishes, cleaning or cooking? Will there be a set time that music needs to be turned down?
It’s important to realize that you and your parent will not be the only people affected by your aging parent moving in with you. Think about how your children or spouse will be affected and how their lives will change. Have a family meeting to discuss any concerns, questions and changes that will need to be made. Try to make sure everyone is on the same page before the move is made.
Is Mom or Dad Moving in the Ideal Situation for Adult Children?
Although it may be convenient or, as children, we feel as though it is our duty to have aging parents move in with us, it is not always the ideal situation. Ask yourself the following questions, as they are often overlooked, before making this decision:
Will everyone have enough privacy? Make sure that you and your spouse have enough time alone. Ensure your children won’t feel as though they are “babysitting” their grandparents. Let your mom or dad have their own time alone as well. Privacy is extremely important, especially during such a stressful time, so it’s crucial to set boundaries before a parent moves in with you.
Will your parent have enough independence? Even though your parent is aging and will likely need some form of care, it is still important to let them do things on their own. Make sure they continue their hobbies and do as much as they can without help, as they may feel as though they are losing much of their independence by living with their adult child. If this is a big problem for them, it may be time to look into a senior living community.
Is your parent going to have enough social interaction? Make sure your parents have social interaction and still see friends, especially if you and your spouse work during the day. Leaving parents alone at home for much of the day can cause them to feel isolated and lonely. If your parents do live with you, try to sign them up for a day program where they will have regular interaction.
Will you be able to provide the level of care needed? It’s important to realize that you will not be able to do everything, especially as your loved one’s care needs change. The more your loved one’s care needs increase, the less likely it will be that you can take care of them effectively at home without suffering from some form of caregiver stress. Consider at least visiting a senior living community, as they can help you to simply enjoy the time you have with your parent while their caregivers provide the right level of care along with a vibrant lifestyle.
What if Moving Mom or Dad in with Adult Children Isn’t an Ideal Option?
If the time comes that your loved one can no longer live alone, but it isn’t ideal for them to move in with you, consider a leading senior living community such as The Bridges at Warwick. We can help you and your mom or dad weigh the options. At The Bridges at Warwick, we are a family-owned and operated community where we provide the ideal balance between an active lifestyle and the care and support seniors need as they age. Most of all, we can give families the peace of mind that comes with knowing their loved one is in good hands. Call or visit us today for more information.
Activity. Friendship. Support. Convenience. Value.
You’ll find it all at The Bridges at Warwick, located in beautiful Bucks County, where everyday is a celebration of seniors. Our philosophy of “Celebrating Life” means that our residents enjoy a sense of purpose and contentment along with fun, personalized care and a focus on total well-being.
Our Personalized Supportive Care provides just the right amount of assistance to help you remain independent, along with life-enriching programs, services and amenities. Our exclusive Vista Transitional Living Program offers specialized programming our supportive care residents who have memory challenges but do not yet require a secure residence. For those whose memory loss is more advanced, we offer The Vista, our secure, comprehensive memory care residence.
In keeping with our founder Robert Basile’s personal philosophy, developed during his efforts to find quality senior living for his beloved father, senior adults remain our passion. We fill our residents’ lives with countless opportunities to engage with both new and treasured friends; events and programs to enjoy with family members and loved ones; as well as innovative and creative activities that foster engagement. Our dedication to total wellness – for mind, body and spirit – is woven into our culture every day.