According to the National Institute of Health, approximately 25 percent of caregivers live with their disabled or elderly relatives. This type of living arrangement can offer numerous benefits, but there may be a point at which it can cause added stress, fatigue, and expense. The staff at Elder Care Direction believes that you should consider several questions when you are trying to determine whether you should be an in-home care provider for your loved one.
What type of care will your loved one need?
In addition to thinking about your loved one’s physical and mental condition, you should also think about any illnesses that he or she might have before you decide to move him or her into your home. If your elderly parent is still relatively independent and healthy, it might be easier for you. However, elderly parents normally move out of their homes because of a crisis or a health condition. If this is what has happened with your parent, you will need to deal with his or her illness. It may be important for you to consider whether a move into an assisted living facility might be a better choice.
What type of supervision and personal assistance will you be able to provide?
You might feel obligated to move your aging parent into your home when his or her health starts to decline. This can be a terrific way for you to give back some of the love that you received from your parent. However, a role-reversal can be difficult for both you and for your parent. Think realistically about the type of supervision and personal assistance that you will be able to provide before you commit to moving your parent into your home.
You should also think about your schedule and whether you will have the time that is needed to provide the care for your parent. Recognize your limits. If your parent will need help with the activities of daily life, you need to think about whether you are comfortable with performing those tasks.
Think about your relationship
The relationship that you have with your parent is important. It will be easier if you have a good relationship and minimal conflict. If your relationship is a difficult one, it’s probably not a good idea to move your parent into your home.
Can your home accommodate your loved one’s needs?
You might need to think about whether your home can accommodate your loved one’s needs. If he or she has limited mobility, your home might need to be wheelchair-accessible. Think about whether you will be able to afford a home renovation and the installation of electric chair lifts, wheelchair ramps, and grab bars. Doorways will need to be a minimum of 32 inches wide, and your loved one should have enough room in the bathroom to transfer on and off of the toilet and to get into the shower.
Will your parent contribute to your expenses?
It can be expensive to care for your aging parent unless he or she is able to contribute to the added expenses. Consider doing the following to make it more affordable:
- Ask your parent to pay rent;
- Ask your parent to help pay for home modifications;
- Combine your resources so that you can buy a home that will work better for everyone; and
- Ask your siblings to contribute.
What do your other family members think?
It is important for you to consider the feelings of your children and your spouse about the potential move. You will want to make certain that everyone supports the idea. You will want to think about the sacrifices and responsibilities that everyone will have and whether they will be able to adapt.
Do you have enough time?
If you have a full-time job, taking on the additional stress of having your elderly parent living in your home might be unworkable. You will need to think about the following things:
- Who will care for your parent when you are at work?
- Who will make the doctors’ appointments and provide transportation to them?
- Will you have enough time for yourself?
Will your parent have a social life?
Your parent’s social life is also an important consideration. If he or she will be leaving behind his or her friends and social network, this can be difficult. It may be difficult for some older adults to adjust to a new environment. If you work and your children attend school, your parent may become isolated and depressed.
Contact Elder Care Direction
Trying to decide whether it is a good idea to move your elderly parent into your home can be difficult. The professionals at Elder Care Direction can assist you with thinking through all of the different issues that you might face so that you can make the decision that works for you and for your parent. Contact us today to schedule a consultation.