You’ve read and heard that more families with multiple generations are living together. Now your family may become one. Your parent is aging and needs help with daily care, medication reminders, transportation, and finances. You realize it’s time to plan for the day your parent may move in with you. Talking with your parent and family members assures that everyone’s opinions are noted and honored as you plan to take on the task of caring for an aging parent.
This is a major decision, and there’s so much to consider! It’s been decades since you last lived together—plus you now have a home of your own, a family, and a job. Even though each family is unique, there are general intergenerational living pros and cons to review as your first step. Making a list of those that most apply to your situation will help to pinpoint the specifics to consider.
The Pros of Caring for an Aging Parent
The first pro is that planning for your parent brings you and family members together to discuss next steps. These focus on what your parent wants and needs now and in the near future. Other pros are:
- Your parent’s care will be consistent.
- You’ll be able to observe your parent’s condition every day, relieving some of your concerns.
- Children learn about aging, family history, and the give and take between generations.
- The time you will save traveling for regular and emergency visits can be devoted to other things on your to-do list.
- A senior’s socialization may actually increase—friends have passed on or moved because of their own senior care needs.
- Elders benefit from living in a safe and secure homes with social interaction.
It’s Wise to List the Cons Too!
Openly talking about the cons allows space for real concerns to be voiced.
- At first, it may appear that combining resources into one household is a benefit. Reality shows there can be hidden expenses when caring for an aging parent, such as expenses associated with home renovation and lost work time.
- People develop different values, habits and interests over the years. Will any of these make living together a challenge?
- Communities vary with the support services available for senior members. Will you be able to engage companion, personal care, and professional nursing services when needed?
- Is your family able to maintain your parents’ home as they transition into living with you? Being able to do so keeps the ‘aging in place’ option open should the ‘living with you’ option be too much of a challenge.
After you have highlighted relevant pros and cons, it’s time to focus on factors most important for your family!
Relationships are the Foundation of Family Living
- What is the quality of your relationship with your parent, now and in the past?
- How well does your parent get along with others in the household?
- Have you and your siblings talked about your parent’s living situation? This conversation allows everyone to express concerns and explore varied care options for your mom or dad.
Privacy and Safety are Important for Everyone
- Does your home offer enough space for personal care, privacy, and interests?
- Changes in the living space may be needed to assure elder safety or to ‘keep the peace.’ These may include renovating a bathroom, adding a bedroom, or building an entry ramp.
Your Parent’s Health—Now and in the Future
- Does your parent have any diagnoses that will become a challenge to manage at home?
- Is there potential for your home to become handicapped accessible?
- This is a good time to talk with your parent and her doctor about current and anticipated health needs.
Finances and Other Shared Responsibilities
- Discussing finances allows all of you to plan for current, future, and unanticipated expenses. This includes making a plan for your parent’s current and future financial contributions to the household.
- Reviewing and agreeing to responsibilities such as errands, chores, and general maintenance promotes open communication.
- Is there work that is best done by a community business or service? This may include senior companion care, home maintenance, or landscape services.
It is important for seniors to maintain friendships and community interests.
- Being able to visit with friends or be part of the community helps to maintain a senior’s dignity and wellbeing.
- If your mom is moving a distance from where she has lived so long, think of ways to keep her engaged with friends.
Cranberry Home Care consults with families who are considering caring for an aging parent. Whether your loved one is aging in place in her own home or preparing to live with you, we offer options that support each family’s care choices and needs. Our free consultation offers you the opportunity to learn about services available for your family, now and in the future.
AARP. (n.d.). Considering moving your loved one into your home? Retrieved from https://www.aarp.org/caregiving/home-care/info-2018/living-with-aging-parents.html
Esposito, L. (2018). Should your aging parent move in with your family? Retrieved from https://health.usnews.com/health-care/patient-advice/articles/2018-03-23/should-your-aging-parent-move-in-with-your-family