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Is Moving Elderly Parents into Your Home a Good Idea?

Moving elderly parents? Consider your parents' needs first

As we grow older, it can be difficult witnessing the advancing years of our parents. The once spritely, physically fit, and super alert parents that you once knew may be getting a little slower, a bit hard of hearing, and not as mentally astute as they once were. That’s part of the aging process and will happen to everyone at some point. However, it’s not easy seeing your parents enter their twilight years, and you might ask an aging parent to come and live with you. But, is moving elderly parents into your home a good idea?

While you love your mom and dad, having them move into your family home will inevitably change the household dynamic. This step is not for the faint-hearted. To help you decide what’s ideal for everyone involved, consider the following factors. 

Moving Elderly Parents: What are Their Needs?

Sometimes our parents have certain needs that they wouldn’t wish to burden their children with. For example, your elderly parents may not want you to help dress them, take them to the toilet, or wash them. Often a professional intervention is required, which is where in-home care or a nursing home may be a more appropriate option.

Furthermore, if you work full time, your elderly relative may be left in a house on their own for up to eight hours a day. Instead, they may prefer to be in the company of friends and people of a similar age. If that’s the case, care homes can be amazing social facilities where people of advancing years can get together, chat, and enjoy a good social life. Even with all the best intentions, you will not be able to provide this lifestyle for them.

Your Relationship

If you are particularly close to your parents, they may be eager to come and live with you. Having grandma or grandpa at home can change the family dynamic for the better. So long as your parents don’t need medical care, having them living with you and telling wartime stories over the dinner table can bring joy to all of your lives. As for mother-daughter relationships, you may just find that you grow closer to mom now that you’re an adult.

Also, watching your parents spend time with your kids can be wonderful to witness after moving elderly parents into your home. The quality time with their grandchildren can bring a lot of pleasure to your parents and keep them feeling younger and happy. 

Looking out for your mom and dad's well-being
Sometimes you’ll have to alter parts of your house to accommodate your aging parent. Pixabay photo (CC0 Creative Commons).

The House Environment

Sometimes, moving elderly parents into the home will require some adaptations to your humble abode. For example, are the corridors wide enough for mom’s walking frame? Or, does dad need a stairlift?

These modifications won’t be cheap and can alter your home environment for everyone living there. Nursing homes are already set up to accommodate the needs of the elderly and could be a more suitable environment for their requirements instead of your residence.

If you worry how a nursing home will treat them, that’s understandable. To help prevent any issues, visit nursing home abuse attorneys sites online for a list of warning signs of senior neglect or abuse. Then if you see something that’s not right, you can seek appropriate resolutions and get your parent the right care. Remember, you are in control and the well-being of your parents as your first priority.

So, Is Moving Elderly Parents into Your Home a Good Idea?

After reading this post, it’s likely clear to you that this decision is complex. There are many elements to consider, including whether your parents even want to live in your home. Always ask their opinion on the move and any subsequent steps! Listen to them as their comfort is very important.

It’s a difficult decision knowing how best to look after your elderly parents when they need alternative accommodation. Remember, it will be traumatic for them to leave their home to seek new, more suitable living arrangements. But if you are willing and able to bring your parent into your home, it could be one of the most incredible things you ever do to benefit your entire family.

What about you, is moving elderly parents into your home a good idea? Have you considered it before, done the move, or known someone who has gone through this situation? If so, what was the experience like?

29 thoughts on “Is Moving Elderly Parents into Your Home a Good Idea?”

  1. My mom, who is 63 now, is set that I will take her in when time comes. Though my mother and I are somewhat close, I can only handle her mindset and attitude for very short amounts of time. I dread the day she is still aware and I have to make the decision to put her in a home. This was such a great read. Awesome perspective

  2. Excellent post Christy, lots of things to think about if moving your parents in with you. I am the opposite, I sold my house to move in with them and as you know last Summer I gave up my corporate city chick lifestyle to stay home to care for them. They gave up so much to give me what they could it is only right and fair that I give back to them when they need me. It’s hard work, it’s challenging and it can be downright scary. I have absolutely no regrets about what I’m doing xx

  3. When I was married, I said to my husband, ‘My parents are never going into a nursing home. They’ll come and live with us.’
    He said, ‘What about my parents?’
    I thought, oh sh*t.
    Two years ago our corporate “citizen day” was spent in a nursing home. Being there only strengthened my resolve to never send my parents to one of those places. Whatever I have to do to take care of them, I will do it. After all the years my parents took care of me, I could never send them off to be cared for by strangers.

  4. This is heart touching. I cannot imagine this situation may be because my parents are not in that stage yet. But everything written here is very much considearable

  5. My mother wanted to stay in her own home. My five siblings and I took turns caring for her after she was diagnosed with stage 4 lung cancer. It was 4 months of reliving memories of our childhood and not one of us regrets taking the time to help her in her time of need.

  6. Wonderful post Christy,

    I love my parents. They live with me in the same house. We are really one big, happy family.As Bible said “Honor your father and your mother”.

    Thank you

  7. Having witnessed and written about my mother’s decline, I would say it is not a good idea. Elderly people want to hang on to their independence as long as possible, and fare better in sheltered or very sheltered housing where they feel in control of their lives. Also they are usually permanently freezing cold – I remember the ‘wall of heat’ that would greet me when my mother opened her front door! I am always hot, and this caused friction for a start when Mum used to stay with us. Oh dear…

  8. Alessandro Tinchini

    A delicate and necessary point to make, Christy.
    My parents are aging but they are still self-sufficient. They may not be that way forever, though, so I’m already thinking about solutions and ways to deal with that since now.
    I recently split with my wife, we don’t have kids, so I’m living in a studio apartment, while my parents are still in the apartment where I was raised. I think that, when needed, I’d be moving back there; should they need assistance for every day chores or one of them depart.

  9. My neighbor moved her mother in with her who has Alzheimer’s and dementia. She has run away from home twice now in the freezing cold. I found her once and brought her home. It’s so scary and I wish they would put her in a home but it’s not my choice😢

  10. Both my parents live on our property, Christy, but they have their own small cottage. It has two bathrooms, a living room and a small kitchen plus a large bedroom. I would struggle to have them in my house as they have their own interesting habits.

  11. When I acted silly and clumsy as a child, I wasn’t sent to a home for kids. My parents took care of me and natured me until I became an adult, I must return the favor.

  12. My Grandfather lives with my aunt (his daughter) and uncle and has been with them for a few years. My Grandparents moved into assisted living after deciding to move from the home they lived in for over 50 years. Assisted living didn’t suit them they found out and moved in with my aunt. They both lived there until my Grandmother passed away 3.5 years ago. It can work with communication and a mutually decided living arrangement.

  13. I moved back into my parents home last August. My mum has a terminal illness and my dad just couldn’t cope with looking after her on his own. I have been blessed with parents who have always put me, my brother and all of their grandchildren first. I feel a duty, yes, but also I am glad to do it for them. The worst is seeing a parent in pain or struggling. Who said old age wasn’t for the faint hearted?

    1. It really does hit me hard to see my parents in pain too, as you say, Gail. I want to make it better if that happens and feel helpless… Your kindness by caring for them is not lost on any of us xx

  14. Great, thoughtful post, Christy.
    I’ve seen my parents struggling with this decision, as sets of my grandparents are getting older. Ultimately, my grandparents chose to go to an assisted living facility, rather than moving in with my parents.
    The whole incited a conversation between my parents and I about what they will want to do when they get to a point that they can’t live on their own any more. I think this conversation is very difficult, and a little awkward, but it’s one we need to have with our parents. Having the conversation while they’re still completely able-bodied and have all of their mental faculties takes some of the emotions out of it.

  15. Excellent points, Christy. I have recently moved closer to family so I can be helpful when necessary. The most important factor, in my opinion, is the first point you brought up which is considering our parents’ needs. It is all about them, after all. Thanks for sharing these thoughts. ~ Blessings, KK

  16. Im in extreme support of moving elderly parents at home as I believe when I was born till the age where I could manage everything on my own it was my parents who did everything for me. They never thought that maybe keeping me in a child care facility or just putting me in a hospital when I was sick was enough. They took complete care of me. So when the tables turn around I totally believe it is the kids who should take care of parents and make them feel home no matter who many adjustments need to be done..

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