Your elderly father still lives alone in the house you grew up in, but lately his health has been on the decline. You love your dad dearly and would do anything to keep him out of a nursing home. But dad’s always been strong and independent, and there have been times when your personalities have clashed. Should you ask him to move in with you? Moving an elderly parent into their home is one of the toughest decisions that adult children ever have-to make. Consider these 4 things beforehand to ensure it’s the right “move” for you.
1. What Type of Care is Needed?
First, assess your parent’s mental and physical condition, including any chronic health or mobility issues they might have. If they’re still relatively healthy and independent, you’ll probably only need to provide minimal care to maintain their quality of life. Can they still drive? Are they able to bathe on their own?
Unfortunately, in most situations when an adult child asks an aging parent to move in it’s because their health condition is poor. If that’s the case, it may require significant time off work to make sure someone is always there with mom or dad.
Whether around-the-clock care is needed or not, these are some of the activities of daily living your senior may require assistance for:
- Bathing and dressing
- Meals and feeding
- Toileting and incontinence care
- Medication management
2. Will We Need to Modify Our Home?
Most homes are not “senior-friendly”. If mom or dad has trouble climbing stairs or is fall-prone, you’ll need to make some safety modifications before they move in. Based on their physical and mental states, you may have to take these actions:
- Put in a chair lift or wheelchair ramp.
- Safe proof the bathroom or create a separate bathroom.
- Lock up sharp objects and cleaning chemicals (dementia or Alzheimer’s).
- Convert a first-floor den or other room into a bedroom.
- Eliminate trips hazards like electrical cords, furniture and throw rugs.
- Beef up the lighting in the hallways, bathroom and entryways.
- Install an alarm system on the front door (dementia or Alzheimer’s).
3. Will Everyone Get Along?
Most seniors are set in their ways and used to specific routines when it comes to eating, sleeping, bathing and watching TV. Does your elderly dad get along with your spouse and kids? Will you and mom be able to coexist under the same roof? Before committing to moving an elderly parent in sit down with all the household’s members and find out how they feel about it. On the positive side and if you have small children, your parent may be able to babysit on occasion so you and your spouse can go out.
4. Can We Afford the Expenses?
According to the National Alliance for Caregiving (NAC), family caregivers who consider moving an elderly parent into their home spend on average between $5,000 and $15,000 out-of-pocket per year on their care. Those additional annual expenses can quickly pile up and put a strain on your family’s budget. Before asking mom or dad to move in, you may want to ask yourself these tough financial questions:
- Am I still going to be able to work?
- Can we cut back on some of our household expenses, like clothes or entertainment?
- Can mom or dad afford to pay rent or help-out with some of the home renovation costs?
- Will my siblings contribute towards our parent’s care?
How About Some Professional In-Home Care Instead?
Another option you have is finding your parent a professional in-home caregiver from a fully licensed home care agency like First In Care. One of our highly trained, compassionate caregiving experts will serve as an extended family in your loved one’s home so they can safely and comfortably remain right where they want to be. You see, our agency’s focus is improving the quality of life for the families we serve by providing seniors with the independence, dignity and self-esteem they’ve earned.
Our family trusted in-home services include light housework, personal hygiene, medication reminders, meals, escorted transportation and companionship. And, all our amenities can be individually combined into an affordable package when and where you need them! To learn more about First In Care now, or to schedule a FREE initial consultation for a senior in Manatee County, FL, today, please visit us at: www.firstincare.com.