WHEN MOM OR DAD MOVE IN ~ By Cahal Carmody
You’ve made it through the “Boomerang” years; you’re not moving back in with your parents, but what happens when the situation is reversed? Those independent and self-responsible parents, having helped you develop and grow into your own life, may now need your support as they face major lifestyle decisions. Choices lie between reliable homecare services that can help them to remain comfortable in their own home for as long as possible, a retirement facility, or moving in with you.
More seniors are moving in with their adult children and even grandchildren. No doubt part of the reason is financial as well as increased lifespans, but for most of us, there is also at least some spirit of family ties and tradition – our parents took care of their parents and now it’s our turn to take care of them.
It’s a time of transitions, adjustments, and major challenges for everyone. You may be faced with controlling the TV volume for your hard of hearing mother, meal planning to suit dietary restrictions and dealing with mood swings (yours or theirs). It isn’t easy for your parents either, they are transitioning into new territory, surrendering some independence while slowly losing certain abilities, frustrated by needing your daily assistance and perhaps facing medical problems.
Some things to consider:
Are you ready emotionally?
Are you being unduly pressured by other family members or your parents themselves to bring them into your home? If your relationship with your parents was strained, don’t move them to try to fix former childhood issues by proving yourself to them. Be sure the rest of the family is onside and committed to supporting you both financially and physically where possible. Primary caregivers responsible for their parents care can quickly feel overwhelmed, and other family members may not fully appreciate how much extra work there is.
Work out the financial details first:
Who pays for what; do siblings contribute to the additional costs; is there an impact on your parents’ wishes for their estate? Who acts on your parents behalf for health care decisions and finances if they are unable to do so? These issues are best discussed openly before the big move so that everyone involved is on the same page and knows what to expect, lessening the risk of resentment later on.
Make the home senior friendly:
Basic adjustments include replacing doorknobs with levers and installing grab bars in the shower or washroom, however other more significant renovations such as widening doorways to accommodate walkers or wheelchairs and adding main floor bathrooms or bedrooms may be necessary. Ramps or stair-lifts may be needed now or in the future. Parents’ likes and dislikes should be considered, and the space personalized to help them feel it is theirs, even if it is just a bedroom of their own.
For some people multi-generational living is absolutely the right thing to do. For others, not so and everyone needs to give it careful consideration. It could be a very uncomfortable ordeal telling your parents that the arrangement isn’t working and having to look for other options.
Cahal Carmody brings compassion and empathy to providing homecare services to seniors and others with disabilities. Personalized services help families with important decisions through life’s transitions. Learn more at PremierTorontoCentral.com.PREMIER HOMECARE SERVICES Toronto Central 164 Eglinton Avenue East, Suite 102 Toronto, Ont. M4P 1G4 Phone: 416-637-2155 www.PremierTorontoCentral.com See our YouTube video Here
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