For many seniors, moving into a retirement community or nursing home simply isn’t an option. This is often when they’re faced with the decision of moving in with family, with the burden normally lying on their grown children. While most of the time kids are glad to help, it’s no secret that this can add both financial and mental stress to your shoulders.
This is why it’s important to prepare if you have found yourself in this same situation. The tips and information below can help guide you through some of the struggles and challenges that may lie ahead. While welcoming your parents into your home may not be easy, the transition can go more smoothly if you’re well prepared.
Should Your Parents Move in With You?
Making the decision to have your parents move in should involve deep thought rather than an automatic response. While it’s easy to want to help, there are many things to think about before giving them confirmation. By asking yourself the questions below (in addition to discussing them with your significant other), you can determine if this truly is the right choice for your household.
Can I Afford This?
The cost of bringing two new people into the household must be considered. From medical supplies and prescriptions to food and transportation, the expenses can quickly add up. If they are able to help cover costs, it’s important to know how long that stream of income will be available.
Can I Help With Care?
If you work or have a busy schedule, you’ll have to carefully consider whether or not you can help take care of your parents. It might be easy to manage prescriptions in the morning and at night, but for more serious medical issues, constant care may be required. If you’re not able to help with bathing, meal preparation, health monitoring, and other details of round-the-clock care, you may need to hire a care provider to do these things for you. However, this care can cost around $125/day, which may be out of your budget.
Do I Have Enough Space?
Welcoming two extra people into your home means your space is about to get a lot smaller. If possible, you should move bedrooms around in order to give your parents their own bathroom. For those who cannot climb stairs, you’ll want to explore ramps and consider making a living space on the ground floor.
How Does The Rest Of My Family Feel?
Look beyond your own feelings when it comes to your parents moving in. Ask your kids and significant other what they think and what concerns they might have. Discuss the pros and cons of the change and why you feel it’s important.
How to Make the Moving Process Easier
If you decide to go ahead with moving your parents in, it’s very likely you’ll need to help. To make this easier on yourself, find a checklist to keep everything organized and as free of stress as possible. This senior moving guide by Suddath offers a breakdown of what needs to be down and when.
Begin packing their things up about a month before the move date. You’ll also want to begin clearing your own home in order to make room for your parents. Sell or toss out anything you can’t fit inside your space to prevent clutter and overfilling your garage.
If you can’t hire movers to help on moving day, then plan to take a weekend to get everything out of their home and into yours. Make sure all necessities, such as medication and clothing, are set aside for immediate use. To prevent loss and make organization easier, create a checklist of boxes. Cross these off as they are moved and make note of where they are left in your home. Once everything is moved, take your time to unload rather than rushing through.
Discussing Guidelines With Your Parents
Although it may sound strange to discuss rules with your parents, it’s something that must be done. If you don’t discuss these details ahead of time, you could end up stressed out and regretting your decision to have them move in at all. A few important topics you’ll want to bring up include:
- When errands can be run
- TV and internet use
- Help with household chores
- Boundaries for helping with your kids (their grandchildren)
- Financial responsibilities
- Locking doors
- Privacy and security concerns around the house
Even if you’re very close with your parents, it’s unlikely they know every detail of how your household is run. By discussing with them what each day is like and what you expect from them, things will be guaranteed to run more smoothly. More importantly, this can help each of you get along better, which can make life with your parents more enjoyable.
Helping Your Parents Live a Better Life
It’s a big decision to move your senior parents into your home. For this reason, it’s important to carefully consider your choice and the details that surround it. If it ends up being right for you, the information above will help everything go more smoothly so you can look forward to more time with your mom and dad.