“Family is the most important thing in the world.” – Princess Diana
“Family is not an important thing. It’s everything.” – Michael J. Fox
“To us, family means putting your arms around each other and being there.” –Barbara Bush
Most of us love our family. We will put our families above all else. It doesn’t matter how much craziness, chaos or drama that family members bring into our lives, the good almost always outweighs the bad. So much so, some of us even work with our family. Much like our friends at Sierra Nevada, whom we borrowed this quote from, Happy at Home is, “Proudly independent. We are 100% family owned, operated, and argued over.” At our core, we believe that family is the most important thing in the world. We know that you believe that too. It’s natural that as our parent’s or loved one’s age that we would want to move them in with us. It’s hard to know if that’s the right choice though. How do we know if we should make the move to bring our parents to live with us? We’ve got a few ideas.
Here are 9 things to think about before moving your parents or loved ones into your home:
1. Is your home set up for the kind of care they need?
It’s easy to want to bring your loved ones home with you but some of our homes aren’t quite set up for their needs. There are plenty of ways to make your home safe for your aging parents or loved one when moving them in that can help with the physical logistics of the kind of care your parents need but what about other logistics?
Not all of us age the same, some of us require a higher level of care than others. A few things to consider when thinking about care for the aging loved one in your home.
- Are your parents or loved one able to maintain safe independent living while under your roof?
- Can you provide care for them? If not, are one of you able to hire an independent caregiver?
- Do your parents or loved one have specifics that make living with them difficult? I.e. do they hate loud noises? if you are someone who plays music in their home, this may not be the right home set up for them? Are they able to enjoy the noise and activity levels of others in the household?
- Are you a single adult or do you have a family of your own?
There are a lot of factors including physical set up of home (one story home vs. two-story home; walk-in bathtub vs. bar crawl bathtub) but also emotional, practical, affordability issues that may indicate your home set up is not right for the kind of care they need.
Speaking of care…..
2. Do they need around the clock care or just help?
When thinking about moving your parent or loved one into your home, it’s important to think about the level of care they may need. There are most likely a number of factors that have contributed to the consideration of moving your loved one into your home. Some of those factors may be:
- Cost / Affordability
- Additional care
If your loved one is moving in because they need around the clock care unless you have 24/7 to commit to them (and the patience of a saint), it may be time to reevaluate bringing them into your home. Loved ones who need that much time and attention are better off in an assisted living home. Trust us when we say, it’s better for you and for them.
Sometimes though the stars align and your loved one may just need a little extra help. We all do. Moving your loved one home because you miss them or they are lonely is great, as long as you know the type of care they need.
Save the around the clock care for someone else.
Speaking of care….
3. What kind of care and time can you provide?
If your loved one doesn’t need around the clock care and you’ve decided to move them in, do you know what kind of care they do need and how you can help?
Part of that is the day to do day stuff – do they just need help remembering their medications or going grocery shopping? Or do they need help with the bigger day-to-day stuff like getting dressed, taking showers, being mobile, transportation, etc.?
Recognizing what type of care they need is an important step but also recognizing what kind of time and energy you are able to provide to them is important. If your loved one needs companionship but you’re also working, taking care of kids, and trying to do a million other things – these are things you should be thinking about before moving them in.
Some of these issues and concerns can be solved by hiring an in-home caregiving company like Happy at Home, it’s important that you and your aging parent or loved one are on the same page in regards to expectations.
Speaking of being on the same page as your parent or loved one….
4. Do you have a great relationship?
Loving our parents is one thing but loving them doesn’t mean being around them all the time is the best thing for them or for us. Evaluating your relationship and thinking about if you have a healthy, supportive, and loving relationship is an important thing to consider when moving them into your home.
Caregiving can be difficult under the best of circumstances, it’s even more challenging when it’s a family member. That’s why Happy at Home provides caregivers, to help maintain the relationships that family members have with each other without adding additional burdens that cause ripple effects in the relationship.
Similarly, having a loved one move in has the potential to do the same, cause ripple effects.
Relationships are complicated enough as they are, without living together. Think about your relationship, the relationship you want to have and how moving in an aging parent or other family members might impact your relationship.
Speaking of impact…
5. How will this impact your own family and relationships?
No matter how much you love your aging loved ones, having them move in WILL impact your life and the lives of those around you. Think about the following things when it comes to how this might impact your relationships with; your spouse, children, friends, or a new romance.
- How much will it impact you?
- Who else will it impact?
- And can you all survive it and thrive from it?
It’s easy to want to bring your loved one into your home but it’s also important to think about the big picture and how it might impact your life and the life of those around them. Moving someone into the home should be what’s best for them, but also what’s best for you.
6. Will they be helping out financially or be a burden?
Wanting an aging parent or loved one to move in with you and having the financial resources to support them are two different things. Consider the financial expense of their daily needs and home modifications required when considering moving an aging senior into your home.
It might be financially helping out your loved one, but if something is becoming a burden on you to the point of which it financially hurts you, having them move in may not be the best. Then again, there are a lot of situations in which it might help lower their cost of living and financially help you out as well.
When considering moving your aging loved one into your home, here are a few financial factors to think about discussing prior to moving in:
- Will they pay rent?
- Will they contribute for utilities?
- Will they contribute to groceries?
Financial help may be a benefit to moving someone in.
Speaking of benefits….
7. What are the benefits for your loved one? For you?
Lowering the cost of living for your loved one or yourself is certainly one benefit! When thinking about moving your aging loved one into your home what are the benefits for you? For them? Are there any?
Hopefully, you’ve thought about your relationships, the impact it may have on your lifestyle, logistics, and the options available for providing necessary care for your loved one. Are there other benefits?
Some things to think about:
- Does moving your loved one in make them happier? Does it make you happier?
- Does it give your kids the chance to build a better relationship with their grandparents?
- Does it make everyone’s lives easier? Does the time together outweigh the time, energy, and expense?
- Does it provide your aging loved one with a new found sense of belonging?
At the end of the day, you want to be sure that the living situation meets the needs of the aging senior and the other family members involved. Focusing on the benefits is a great way to make sure it’s the right fit.
Speaking of fit…
8. Do your lifestyles fit?
Everything else might align but if lifestyles aren’t compatible, life could be a series of unresolved challenges. Take a minute to think about how you live your life. Do you really want to have to take on another person? Someone who depends on you? You have a job, kids of your own, friends, you might even have just enough time in your life to squeeze in a hobby like bicycling; Maybe you enjoy entertaining.
Similarly, maybe your aging loved one is a social butterfly who wants to enjoy their life without the judgments of their children.
Do you like sleeping in? Does your loved one like waking up early? What about the time you go to bed? Is one of you a vegan? Does the other one love meat? These may not seem like things that would matter, and they may not actually be deal breakers, but they can change the dynamics and atmosphere in the home. It’s important to think about lifestyles and compatibility when making decisions.
Consider how your aging loved one will fit in with it all or what you may be willing to give up to make time for them.
9. Is this something you can take on?
It’s a lot to think about. Which must make you wonder if this is something you can take on. It’s okay to admit that it’s not something you can take on. In fact, it’s better to recognize what you both want, need, and are able to do now, before diving into a big move. We are all busy with the day-to-day of our own lives, recognizing what we can do and what we can’t is important.
Take a minute to stop and think about the big picture, as well as all the little things that impact your day to day life.
Remember to think about:
- Is your home set up for the kind of care they need?
- Do they need around the clock care or just occasional assistance?
- What kind of care and time can you provide?
- Do you have a healthy, happy relationship?
- How will this impact your own family and relationships?
- Will they be helping out financially or be a burden?
- What are the benefits for your loved one? For you?
- Are your lifestyles compatible?
- Are you 100% able and willing to do this?
These are just a few things to think about before moving your loved one into your home. Take the time to think about it, process, and discuss prior to making any big life-altering decisions. Remember, if you do move your family member into your home, you don’t need to do it alone. Happy at Home is here to help as much or as little as your family needs.
Happy at Home is an in-home care company providing exceptional in-home care services including help with grocery shopping, errands, bathing & dressing, transferring, pet care, light housekeeping, and more. Our personalized care offers peace of mind and gives your loved ones the one-on-one care they deserve. We are located in Chico, Sacramento and opening up soon in Southern Oregon. Please contact us today to let us know how we can be of service to you or your loved one.