Caring for parents in your home

caring for parents in home

As your parents get older, you may be facing some hard decisions like whether they need extra care or help in everyday life. Some adult children turn to assisted living homes. But today, many are choosing to personally care for their parents.

This is an important decision that affects both parents and children and there is much to think about. Aging parents living with adult children may not be right for everyone. However, it may cost less than putting your parents in a nursing home. Nursing homes cost about $60,000 per year on average. Assisted living facilities cost about $30,000 per year on average.

It may take some time for your family to get used to the new living conditions and the following should be considered:

What is your family’s relationship with your parents?
You may get along great with your parents, but adding more people to your home may change things. Before the move, think about these questions:1

  • How will the move affect your spouse, your children, and your siblings?
  • How will your parents affect your family routine, activities, and privacy?
  • Will you expect other family members to help out?
  • Should part of your parents’ income go toward living expenses?
  • Will the move mean you need to change your work hours to provide care?
  • Who will provide care for your parents when you go on vacation?
  • Are there issues of smoking, drinking, or pets that need to be worked out?
  • How do your parents feel about the move?

Can your living space handle your parents?
You’ll need to move things around when you move parents into your home and living arrangements may change. Consider building an addition or converting a garage or side porch into a suite.

If your parents don’t get around very well, consider the following:

  • Can they reach a bathroom easily?
  • Can the bathroom handle a wheelchair or walker?
  • Will children have to give up a bedroom to your parents or can a bedroom be shared?
  • What needs to be done to make your home parent-friendly? How will you pay for them?

Is your neighborhood a good place for your parents?

Help your parents feel at ease in your neighborhood. Show them how to find the local pharmacy, bank, faith community, recreation center, and other services. If they’re looking for things to do, investigate available classes and programs at a nearby senior center.

Consider adult day care centers and companion services, which can provide a break for you.

Are there ways your parents can help out?
Remember that many parents, if they’re able, can help make your life easier around the house. Benefits like babysitting, an extra hand cleaning or fixing meals, or even sharing some expenses can lead to a better living space for everybody.

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