When moving in with an elderly parent, there are many things to think about. You need to prepare yourself and your mother or father for the big change in your lives. Start with your home. Go over your daily activities and add new tasks to the mix. Living with an older person can be challenging, but in the end, you will get to create memories that will last you a lifetime.
Let’s talk about accommodation. Having additional residents will take some adjustments, regardless of whether it is you that is moving back into your childhood home, or you’re taking your elderly parent in with you.
Before anything else, think about your resources – do you have spare rooms? How about beds, closets, and TV? If you do, clean up the space and make it livable before the new residents come. Sometimes, even if you like your current place, the best option is switching a big home for a smaller, more elderly-friendly one.
There are many benefits of moving to a smaller home, especially if you are living with your folks. Two-story houses are just an accident waiting to happen. Going up and down the stairs can be a real challenge and a health hazard for an old person, while smaller properties are more accessible and better cater to their needs. Additionally, smaller houses are safer if you have young children who are just learning to walk.
Your parents moving into your home means you will have a bulk of things all around. To avoid clutter, especially due to downsizing, consider organizing a garage sale, donating, or putting belongings you don’t need in storage.
Even before your parents start packing, it is important to check their mental and physical health. If they have any conditions, they might need additional care that you, as a working and busy adult, can’t provide on your own. Then it is time to think about medical services that can help.
If they are relatively healthy and independent, you won’t have to worry about leaving them alone in your home. Nevertheless, even when your parents don’t need additional care from you, you can do small things for them that will make their everyday life that much easier.
Sometimes, being considerate of other people’s needs slips our minds. When you start living with your folks, try taking good care of them, the way they did for you when you were a kid (and the way you want someone to look after you one day). Help them the best way you can to adjust to a new town if they are moving from another, perhaps completely different location. If they are native to the area, you can still help them get to know the neighborhood well.
Every person likes to have friends, and senior citizens are no different. Check if the families that live around have members of the appropriate age and organize a get-together. Your folks will appreciate having somebody their own age to keep them company.
Communication is the best way to avoid arguments. This new living arrangement will be an adjustment for everyone, so make sure every family member is content with it. Go over house rules and establish the dos and don’ts together with them. When everybody participated in the creation of rules and is entirely familiar with them, there won’t be stepping on anybody’s toes.
You are getting new household members, and not just any members – your aging parents. Even though you love them, there will be a learning curve when it comes to living with them again. The generation gap will be visible in many situations, but if you talk with them and set some boundaries, there won’t be tense situations. Also, don’t forget to explain to your children why grandma and grandpa are spending so much time around.
Be realistic: your life will change, you will get new tasks and obligations. Now you will have to think not only of your children and their needs but your folks as well. Nevertheless, it doesn’t all have to be hard work. If you put some time into organization, you will be able to spend quality time with your folks while keeping your social life intact.
If you’re used to binging Netflix on a day off or going to a brunch with friends, you might have to rethink your priorities. Exchange lounging on a couch with a healthy walk with your parent, a brunch out with BBQ in your backyard, and you will still get to do fun stuff, but with your old folds by your side. While they are with their friends, you can hang out with yours.
New family members mean more meals to cook, more groceries to buy. Yes, your household will consume more food, but that is not the only thing that will change. You will get some new tasks like getting medicine, driving your folks to regular medical checkups, cleaning more, and washing the dishes. If you are confident that the health of your folks is stable, you can always let them do some basic chores around the house. They will appreciate it if you treat them as equals.
Needing help with some tasks is not something to be worried about or ashamed of. If you need assistance while your parents are at your place, you should call other family members. Talk to them, go over every possible way they can lend you a helping hand. Sometimes, financial aid is necessary because medical services for the aging population can be pricey, and sometimes you just need somebody to tackle your everyday tasks. This is especially important if your folks have some medical problems and require special care.
Yes, many changes will take place in your life when you move in with a parent, but it is not all a struggle. These are the people who raised you, but you still can learn so much from them. While caring for your folks, stop for a second, and try to appreciate the moments spent with them. After all, the memories you make with your aging parents are a priceless gift you will cherish all your life.