Is Moving an Elderly Parent into Your Home Really a Good Idea?

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Consider your parents' needs when assessing where they will live
Is your mom or dad living with you at home in their best interests? Photo from Pixabay, CC0.

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 becoming a little slower, a tad hard of hearing and not as mentally astute as they once were. This is part of the ageing process and will happen to everyone at some point. However, it’s not easy seeing your parents entering into their twilight years. You may think about asking an elderly parent to come and live with you. This is a step not for the faint-hearted. Yes, you love your mom or dad, but having them moving into your family home will inevitably change the dynamic of your household. Take a look at these factors to consider before moving a parent into your home.

Consider your parents' needs when assessing where they will live
Is your mom or dad living with you at home in their best interests? Photo from Pixabay, CC0.

What Are your Parents’ Needs?

Sometimes our parents have certain needs that they wouldn’t wish to burden their children with. For example, your mom or dad may not want you to help dress them, take them to the toilet or wash them. Often a more professional intervention is required which is where a nursing home may be more appropriate. If you work full time, your elderly relative may be left in a house on their own for up to eight hours a day. They may prefer to be in the company of friends and people of a similar age. Care homes can be amazing social facilities where people of advancing years can get together, chat and enjoy a social way of living. With all the best intentions, you will not be able to provide this.

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 parent doesn’t need medical care, having them living with you, telling wartime stories over the dinner table and spending time with your offspring can be a joy to witness. Spending time with their grandchildren can also bring immense 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 best accommodate your aging parent. Pixabay photo (CC0 Creative Commons).

The Environment

Sometimes bringing an elderly parent into the home will require some adaptations to your humble abode. Are the corridors wide enough for your mom’s walking frame? Does your dad need a stairlift? These modifications won’t be cheap and can alter your home environment for everyone in your household. Nursing homes are already set up to accommodate the needs of the elderly and could be a more suitable environment for their requirements. You may be worried about how they will be treated in a care home; however, if you pay a visit to nursing home abuse attorneys sites online, they will give you a list of warning signs to watch out for should you worry about neglect or abuse. Remember, you are in control and will always have the well-being of your parents as your number one priority.

It can be a difficult decision knowing how best to look after your elderly parents when the time comes for them to need alternative accommodation. Remember, it will be traumatic for them to have to leave their long-standing home to seek new, more suitable living arrangements. 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.

29 COMMENTS

  1. 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..

  2. 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

  3. 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.

  4. 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?

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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😢

  9. 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.

  10. 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…

  11. 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

  12. 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.

  13. 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

  14. 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.

  15. 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

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