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Should You Move Your Parent In with You?

Having a parent move in with you, especially when they require extra care, might sound like a good idea but may not be the best option. As parents and loved one’s age, the question between in-home care and seeking out a skilled nursing facility arises. There are numerous benefits to having your parent move in with you to make caring for them more convenient, but can cause stress, fatigue, heartache, and a loss of independence for everyone in the household. Before moving your parent in with you and becoming an in-home caregiver, consider the following:

What kind of care will be needed?

It’s important to consider their mental and physical condition and illnesses they are battling. If your parent is healthy, able to get around on their own, and capable of taking care of themselves, the care you provide them with will be minimal.

However, if you’re moving your parent into your home due to chronic illness or limited mobility, you will have to be more hands on and provide your loved one with more around-the-clock care, which can be difficult to juggle with work and personal obligations. Depending on the severity, moving your parent into a nursing home or skilled nursing facility might be the better option.

How much care can you provide?

When a parent or loved one experiences a decline in their health, families often feel obligated to bring their family member into their home to care for them. When caring for a parent in your home this can bring about a role-reversal that your parent and yourself might not be completely comfortable with.

Consider these factors before taking the next steps:

  • Be realistic – Speak with your parent’s doctors to determine the amount of care your parent needs. Depending on any illnesses and mobility, the amount of assistance your parent needs is likely to increase over time.
  • Consider your schedule – Do you have a family? How many hours a week do you work? What is your travel schedule like? If something comes up, do you have someone that can step in and take care of your parent? These questions, among others, are ones that need to be asked before making any living arrangement decision to ensure that your loved one is receiving the utmost care.
  • Know your limits – Beyond your schedule, the duties you will be performing as a caregiver can be extremely personal, including bathing and dressing your parent. Have a conversation about how comfortable you and your loved one are with the assistance needed for daily living activities.

Is your home accommodating to your loved ones needs?

Older adults with health problems oftentimes require extra equipment in a home to help aide them in carrying out every day activities, whether that entails grab bars to help with bathing and getting up the stairs, a wheelchair or hospital bed. If your home isn’t accommodating to the needs of your loved one, will you be able to make the necessary renovations?

Consider the following:

  • Is there a room on your first floor that can be converted to a bedroom?
  • Is there a bathroom on the first floor that is easily accessible by your loved one?
  • Are the hallways, bathroom(s), and door frames wheelchair accessible? The space should be at least 32 inches wide, but it’s best for this space to be 36 inches.
  • What renovations need to be made and what is the cost for short- and long-term needs?
  • How much privacy is available for your loved one? Is everyone comfortable with the amount of privacy that can be provided?

What type of social life can you offer your loved one?

Moving into a new home, especially in a new area, can be a huge adjustment for your parent on top of the health issues they are dealing with. Leaving their social network and adjusting to a new environment can take a huge toll on your loved one, especially if your family is out of the house for long periods of time throughout the day. Social interaction is very important for aging individuals and depending on personality, an increase in alone time can cause depression and loneliness. When a family opts to move their loved one into a skilled nursing facility, there is 24-hour care provided in addition to a community that aging relatives can thrive in.

If moving your parent into your home isn’t an option and would like to schedule a tour of one of our three locations, please call Salter HealthCare today at (781) 729-2200.

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