Many families consider bringing their parents into their home once they age. Often times it is because they love their parents and want to care for them. As well, sharing your home with your parents can make sound economic sense.
If you’re thinking of making room for mom and dad, consider these items so you can make an informed decision.
Multigenerational living changes the dynamics of your home. No matter how close and how well you get along with your parents, you won’t see eye-to-eye on everything. Everyone has likes and dislikes and a distinct personality and will need to bend for the arrangement to succeed.
Before moving ahead, sit down and talk openly about finances, health issues, fears, expectations, and dislikes. While some of these topics may not be easy to talk about it, it is essential. If everyone does not understand their boundaries and responsibilities, things could get rough.
Involve everyone in the family, not just adults. Children are impacted by the change in arrangements and need to understand how they’ll contribute and their limitations.
When your parents move into your home, expect expenses. They are often higher than what most people anticipate. Usually, it isn’t just a matter of making space. There are moving expenses, the need for different furniture, and more.
Will You Need to Change Your Home?
Aging parents often need special equipment to ensure their living quarters are safe and functional. If they don’t need safety equipment now, they may need it in the future.
Grab bars and shelves in the shower, wheelchair ready doorways, ramps, and counters, an accessible tub, or a chairlift are all possible needs. Explore whether your parents participate in a Medicaid Community and Home Based Services program for potential funds for living space modifications.
Additionally, your parents and you need privacy. You and your parents may want separate bathrooms and kitchens. Discuss wants and realities.
Will You Need Extra Help?
You want to help your parents, but when they have health issues it is a big job. You may not be able to handle it yourself.
According to a 2016 study published in JAMA Internal Medicine, caregivers can expect to miss out on “visiting friends and family, going out for enjoyment, attending religious services, and participating in club meetings or group activities”.
Caregivers also miss work three times for often if they provide substantial assistance with health care compared with caregivers who provided some or no help. If you have siblings, consider asking them to split the load with you to make it more manageable.
Is A Mother-In-Law Suite The Answer?
A mother-in-law suite is a less expensive alternative than pricey care facilities, but there’s much to consider.
These suites do provide convenience, proximity, and privacy, but you’ll need local planning permission, permits, and inspections. Units usually have a separate entrance, bathroom, kitchen, and sleeping areas, but can be costly to build.
However, a mother-in-law suite does add finished space and value to your home. They aren’t a good solution for parents with serious health issues or when they require constant supervision.
Ensure you have frank and in-depth conversations with your parents and family before taking on the care of your parents. When everyone knows what to expect, it can be a very positive, bonding experience and gratifying to give back to the people that cared for you.