For your first 18 years or so, your parents took care of you. You probably couldn’t imagine life without them. Fast forward a few decades, and everyone has their own lives and responsibilities. We are all a bit grayer, and a bit more less energetic. Perhaps you have children in the home.
Regardless, you and your parents haven’t lived together for a very long time, and you’re bound to have developed habits that will get on each other’s nerves. Not only that, but no matter what their health status, your parent might be reluctant to give up their independence, so how do you move your aging parent in with you without making everyone miserable?
Start by Asking Some Questions
- Do you have extra space? Moving a parent in may require some renovation. A ground floor living situation is best for most seniors. If they are still mobile, a kitchenette and private entrance will give them independence.
- How do your spouse and children feel about it? Have a family discussion before bringing it up with your parent.
- Does your parent need medical care? Sometimes a senior care facility is more appropriate, especially if you need to work full time.
- Can you afford it? Perhaps your parent’s retirement benefits can help pay the living expenses.
- Are you taking them away from their friends? If you are moving your parent miles away, expect them to feel lonely, even with family around.
- Does your parent have a pet? Separating your parent from their pet can be devastating for both.
- Can your parent drive? If not, you will need to arrange transportation.
- Do you get along? This might be a strange question. After all, they are your parent. But there could be unresolved issues between you that would make living together miserable. You should either try to settle them first, or find an alternative living situation.
- What does your parent like to do? Perhaps your parent loves TV, but you don’t own one. Perhaps they love gardening, but you barely have a back yard. Provide as many activities for your parents as they want, and if you don’t like TV, set one up in their room.
You should sit down and have a talk with everyone involved. Be patient. Remember, you’re taking your parent from everything he or she knows. They probably have activities, friends and routines. Try to replicate the activities and routines as much as possible. Friends can be difficult to make after a certain age, but encourage your parent to become socially involved, unless they’ve always been somewhat of a hermit.
There’s a very good chance that your parent has a lifetime of possessions as well, and even if you have a generous living situation for them, they likely won’t fit. Expedite Moving can help store your parent’s possessions until they are ready to give them up.
Even if your relationship with your parent is a little strained, moving in together can help heal it if you don’t force it. Spend time doing things they enjoy, not just acting as a caretaker. Include them in family activities as much as possible.
Bringing your aging parent into your home can mean a lot of stress, but it can also add so much to your family. The memories will be irreplaceable, especially for your children.
Featured image CC0 Public Domain via Pxhere