The holidays are here. You come face-to-face with your parents. You see it loud and clear and aware that eldercare problems require your immediate attention.
Take a deep breath. You know for certain that your parents can no longer live on their own. The time is now to contemplate their housing and care options. Here are your choices:
- Bring outside help into their home (you help, too)
- Move to an assisted-living community.
- Ask them to live with you.
Hold on! The third option requires asking many questions. Here they are:
Ask your parents:
Do you want to move in and share a household with my family?
Are there relationship conflicts that need to be resolved before you move in?
Are you comfortable switching doctors if you do relocate?
How long can you see yourself living with me?
Ask family household:
Would anyone resent this living arrangement?
What adjustments would you have to make to your lifestyle?
Will you pitch in and help?
Are you willing to treat this person as family member, not to be ignored or isolated?
Discuss with non-resident siblings:
Will you help care for our parents in the event they get sick and need extra care?
How will you pitch in when it’s time for me to take a break or vacation or if I get sick?
Are my parents able to contribute financially (e.g. food, transportation)?
If the house needs remodeling to accommodate my parents, who pays?
If I quit my job, will my parents pay me to care for them?
Does this living arrangement affect my parent’s eligibility for Medicaid?
Do I have the physical space in my home to take this on?
Will my family (partner and/or children) get the attention they need?
How will this decision affect my personal and professional goals?
Is there another family member who already requires my time and attention?
Am I good at delegating responsibilities?
Will my parents have access to a full range of activities outside the home?
Will we create ways for my parents to contribute to the family and feel needed?
Is there a plan to preserve privacy and autonomy for everyone?
Is my family financially and emotionally stable enough to take this on?
The arrangement of sharing one’s home with aging parents is not for the faint of heart. If you succeed, you are beating the odds!