If you’re one of the millions of adult children in America deciding whether to personally provide caregiving services for an elderly parent, as opposed to hiring outside care providers, consider where your aging parent might live in this scenario. Bear in mind that caregiving can be a full time job. Would you care for your parent in your home, or should your parent move in with you?
Every son and daughter cares deeply for their parents, but moving them into your home, especially if you have your own family, is a tall order. This becomes increasingly challenging as they need more assistance as well. Before considering any logistics of such a move, adult children should first determine if they are even capable of meeting their elder parent’s needs.
If the aging parent requires only minimal care, but is no longer able to safely live alone, then moving in might be an easy transition. If the elder parent is ill, perhaps with dementia or a serious physical ailment requiring intense care, a well-meaning adult child may lack the skills to realistically help.
It may be helpful to speak to an elder parent’s doctor about his or her needs, and determine together if you’ll be able to provide the level of caregiving assistance needed. During this meeting you can also ask the health care professionals you speak with whether or not care needs are likely to increase over time.
Another item to consider is the nature of your relationship. Do you get along? Do you frequently argue? Is it possible to live easily together under the same roof? Even if you want to care for them, or feel obligated to do so, it’s more important to ensure the best quality of life for everyone involved.
If the relationship is solid and the elder parent’s health is reasonably sound, then the next set of considerations becomes practical. For example, can your home accommodate another person? Can you address his or her particular needs? Is there existing room, or will room need to be created or converted? Is there a ground floor option? Are renovations required?
Assuming other family members are in agreement with the new living arrangement, mounting expenses might require reimbursements to be made from the elder parent’s financial resources. Is this possible? Is your parent agreeable to it? If there are other siblings involved, are they on board with that?
Caregiving is an incredibly noble act, and one that has the potential to not only be challenging, but also immensely rewarding. If after taking these considerations into account, it still makes sense to move an aging parent into your home, do not wait to also speak to an elder care attorney.
An elder care attorney can help you and your loved ones understand what is involved from a legal perspective. This is especially important should money or reimbursement for renovations. be invoked. If this article raises more questions than it answers, do not wait to contact our office and schedule an appointment with attorney Allen Poucher, Jr.