Should You Move Your Elderly Parents Into Your Home?

For decades, television shows were developed on a premise of older adults moving into the homes of their adult children. In most of these programs – usually situation comedies – hilarity ensued. The reality is that the decision to move your older parents into your home is not something to be taken lightly – for your parents’ sake, your sake, and the sake of the rest of your family. There are a number of factors that need to be weighed and balanced in considering whether or not having your parents move into your home is the wisest course of action to take:

  • One parent or two
  • Space considerations 
  • Practical matters
  • Amount of care needed
  • What do your parents want?
  • What do you want?
  • What does the rest of your immediate family want?
  • Will siblings and other extended family members assist?
  • What other options are available?

One Parent or Two

A very fundamental and crucial consideration is who, exactly, may move into your house? Is it your father? Is it your mother? Is it both parents?

Two parents as opposed to one doesn’t exactly double the work and space use associated with a parent moving into your home. However, when it comes to the emotional investment associated with one versus two parents moving into your home, the difference can be significant.

Space Considerations 

You need to very seriously consider the space available in your residence. If your parents living with you will prove to be a successful endeavor, that is likely going to be due to the fact that you, your immediate family, and now your parents will have plenty of space between them. The addition of older parents into a resident already occupied by a family can be problematic at best when the available space is rather limited. 

Practical Matters

There is an array of practical considerations that come into play when contemplating whether or not your parents should move into your home. For example, you need to consider seriously whether the very structure of your home works for your mother or father. For example, is your residence easily accessible for your parents? 

Amount of Care Needed

A fundamental point to ponder when it comes to the question of moving your parents into your home is how much care they require. As a person ages, an individual can require a range of care from assistance with some basic tasks of daily living to much more significant types of support. You absolutely must be certain that you or you and the rest of your family are capable with assisting your parent or parents as needed. In the alternative, you need to be willing to allow a healthcare aide access to your residence to assist with your parent or parents’ needs.

What Do Your Parents Want?

A prelude to making a decision about whether or not your parents should move into your home, you really do need to find out what it is your parents want to do in regard to their living situation. For example, your parents may appreciate that they no longer can live alone. They may understand that they need to consider some other type of living alternative. 

With that said, your parents might prefer living in an assisted living community rather than in your home. There can be a host of reasons why this is the case and none of them may have anything to do with you. Rather, they may find that they would feel more independent or self-sufficient living in an assisted living community rather than in a child’s residence.

What Do You Want?

On a related note, you also do need to candidly consider what it is you personally want when it comes to the idea of your parents living in your home. It is not selfish for you to weigh and balance your own needs when it comes to your parent moving into your home, particularly if there are other options available to your mother, father, or both individuals.

What Does the Rest of Your Immediate Family Want?

On yet another related note, you do need to make sure you understand what the rest of your immediate family wants in regard to your parents possibly moving into your home. You must always remember that parents moving into your home impacts all of your immediate family members. They deserve to have a voice in the decision making process.

Will Your Siblings and Other Extended Family Members Assist?

When contemplating whether of not your parents should move to live in your home, consider whether or not your siblings or other extended family members will be able to provide at least some assistance in regard to your parents (if they move into your home). A prime example of assistance is providing you with some respite assistance so that you and your family can take a caretaker break and your parents will still be cared for properly.

What Other Options Are Available?

In considering whether or not your parents should more into your home, you do want to think about what other options are available to you at this juncture. There maybe some other types of living options that make more sense for your parents, for you, and for the rest of your family:

  • A senior living community may be a better choice for your parents right now than living in your own home. A senior living community itself does not provide homecare assistance for your parents. However, you can engage the services of a homecare aide if that is necessary.
  • An assisted living residence may be a solid idea for your parents. An assisted living community provides help for an older person with different matters of daily living. This can include such things as:
    • Grooming
    • Bathing
    • Dressing
    • Housekeeping
    • Laundry
    • Meal preparation

If you weigh and balance these considerations, together with your parents and other family members, you will be able to make the best possible decision in regard to where your mother and father reside. Keep in mind that a decision regarding whether or not your parents will reside in your home is not permanent. It is a decision that can be revisited at any time that is appropriate.