When parents get older and need more help, it can be easier to take them into the next room than to walk across the city – or even the state – to take care of. And you wouldn't be alone: Currently, 34 million Americans are estimated to personally care for older family members, according to the Family Caregiver Alliance (FCA).
If you are thinking of moving your parents or incorporating into your home full time, here are some things to consider.
Set Aside Living Space
At least, parents will need their own bedroom and preferably their own bathroom and kitchenette. If you have an extra guest room, a finished basement or a home supplement, you may want to consider equipping a senior-specific room with your parents, Forbes says. You may also want to be creative about your living space. Some ideas may be to move the children to a common room to accommodate their grandparents or to create a wall divider to provide additional family members.
Plan for home upgrades and other expenses
If your home is too small, building a supplement or renovating part of the home is an option ̵
Currently, remember that you may need to make some updates. Stairs can be a problem if your parent has a movement problem, for example, and you may need to install an electric stair lift (usually run around $ 1500 to $ 3000), HomeAdvisor says. You will also probably spend some money upgrading the bathroom – adding rails to showers, baths and raising the toilets.
In addition to budgeting for any home upgrades, you may also want to consider how to handle other household costs such as groceries and bills. Will you share them? Or will you keep everything separate? According to the US news and world report, remember a predetermined plan in advance so it is clear how the finances will be handled in this new life arrangement.
Prepare the whole family
Moving your parents to your home is a big decision, and it is one that will affect the whole family. Have a family meeting to talk about the changes and hear everyone's point of view, Forbes says. Besides the people who live in your home, you also want to talk to your siblings and be sure that they are on board with this plan – they can even help financially or carefully according to FCA.
Establish some basic rules
Before entering, it's a good idea to sit down with your parents to discuss some expectations from both sides. Are you going to cook and eat each meal together? Will you respect each other's integrity? Will you / they have friends over to hang out? Consider discussing these issues and agreeing to help with a smooth transition, FCA says.
Determine which option is best
It is important to assess your parents' health both physically and cognitively before entering according to Caring Com. You also want to be realistic about health changes that can occur when time goes by, as your responsibility can change, Caring.com adds.
Finally, being a caregiver can be challenging – it can cause stress due to the workload. If you find that you and your partner deliver a majority of care, the home care assistant can be a good option to consider helping to relieve some of the stress, adding Caring.com. But professional help has a price, especially if your parents do not have long-term health insurance. According to the administration on aging, the average cost of home care is about $ 21 per hour.
Living with your parents can be an easy way to help care for them, but take a look at the whole picture to be sure it is the best way for you and your parents.
Originally published on November 18, 2014.