As your parents have aged you may have become concerned about the amount of care and attention they require in their daily lives. Maybe you’ve decided it’s time to step in and take more responsibility for their care.
Perhaps you’ve decided your elderly parent is moving in with you and that you want to take on their in-home caregiving. There are many costs and adjustments to your lifestyle and theirs, which will come into play.
Knowing the costs of caring for a senior loved one at your own home can help families plan care, and know if another option would be more suitable.
When an elderly parent moves in: challenges to consider
When the decision is made that it’s time for an elderly parent to no longer live alone, the first instinct may be to combine households. While this may be the first instinct for many reasons it should be carefully considered before pursuing in earnest.
Considerations around time, finances, emotional, and physical commitments should be thoroughly examined and prepared for while deciding what type of residence and care would be the best fit for your family.
What amount of care will your loved one need?
Knowing how much care and assistance your loved one will need will probably be one of the biggest factors in the decision around living arrangements. Knowing how much assistance you can provide in terms of time, finances, and medical care can indicate that living together might need to be reconsidered.
Caring for a senior loved one is a demanding responsibility. Are there siblings, friends, neighbors, and other relatives you trust who are ready to step in to help out? Will you be receiving assistance and respite from the people in your loved one’s network?
Having a trustworthy and involved network is great but if the network isn’t big enough to help with all of the responsibilities and demands that go along with caring for a senior loved one there’s a risk of caregiver burnout and isolation. Will you be able to hire and manage the resources that are needed for the best in-home care, especially as they age and their medical and daily needs may change?
Can you afford the time and expense of having an elderly parent move in?
Often when the time comes for an elderly parent to leave their own home a decision is made to move in with another relative. This decision based on love frequently does not take in all of the considerations of financial resources, physical needs, and family relationships before springing into place.
Before moving in together it would be wise to get a clear idea of your loved one’s financial picture and expectations around running the household. Will your loved one be contributing to the finances needed to run the home? Will other family members be contributing to subsidizing the added costs of bringing someone into the home?
Income and Budget for New Expenses
While it might seem like living together will save on expenses, that may not be the case. Rent or a mortgage may not increase but utilities and groceries will. Have you created an estimated budget to understand household costs as well as care costs for your loved one?
When a loved one moves in this often means they have physical needs that make living alone no longer possible. The costs associated with home upgrades such as specialized entryways, and modified bathrooms, kitchens, hallways, and bedrooms can be an unexpected and unpleasant surprise.
Many homes are not already wheelchair accessible. Safety locks involve another added cost that may need to be added to protect those with memory loss who may wander or get disoriented.
Is your current residence comfortable with specialized furniture such as hospital beds? Will a wheelchair be able to safely navigate your current home?
It may seem basic, but consider how well everyone gets along. How well do you get along with your parents? What about your partner or spouse? Do you have adult children, teens, or young children of your own living with you? Do they get along? Adding new people to an already tense or fraught dynamic might not be the best idea. Or combining the households of people who don’t get along well might create tension where there doesn’t need to be.
Perhaps you’ve considered the relationships of the people already living in the house and everyone does get along well. Are you ready to share your space with another person? Are you or your loved one used to living alone? Are you on the same page in terms of guests, noise, pets, etc.? If you and your spouse are finally empty nesters are you ready to share your home with someone again?
It’s one thing to move your loved one if they already live in fairly close proximity to you. But consider if they’ll be moving further away from their own community. Will your loved one be able to socialize in a healthy and consistent way? Will they be able to maintain the network that they already have or will they be able to establish a new one that also fits within their new lifestyle?
Planning care in-home or in an assisted living or memory care community
Planning care outside of the family home may be best in terms of addressing care needs, finances, and ensuring high-quality care for your loved one. Starting that process can feel daunting but there are helpful resources to help you research and begin planning to find the right type of care.
Starting Your Search
If you want to seek care outside of your home, many begin their search for a community online. Another place to start is your local or state Agency on Aging. It may also help to ask for referrals from friends, neighbors, and your family doctor for helpful resources they would recommend.
Understand Which Community Meets Your Needs
After you’ve compiled a list of prospects, decide which communities would best serve your loved one’s needs. Do they offer on-site physical rehabilitation? Are there ways to stay on the same campus to help your loved one age comfortably in place? Communities such as The Kensington Falls Church offer a full spectrum of care, including assisted living and memory care.
Learn more about The Kensington Falls Church
A move to an assisted living or memory care community may be the best option in terms of cost and quality of care.
At The Kensington Falls Church, our team takes on a deeply valued Promise to love and care for your family, as we do our own.
To discuss options for you and your loved one contact The Kensington Falls Church. Schedule a tour and meet our friendly, loving, and dedicated staff. See all that our community has to offer and learn how we can provide you with peace of mind when it comes to your parent’s well-being.