June 17 2021
People worldwide are living longer, according to the World Health Organisation (WHO).
In fact, it’s expected that the number of people aged 80 years or older will triple between 2020 and 2050, reaching a staggering 426 million. Although living longer brings with it many great things, it does beg the question; who will care for mum and dad if they become frail?
If you’re considering moving your elderly parents into your home and you’re in the UK, the following points will help you determine whether it’s right for you.
- What type of care do they need?
- Do you have the time to take this on?
- What are you able to provide?
- Can your home accommodate them?
- What is their financial situation?
- How will it impact your relationship?
- How do your spouse and kids feel?
- Will your loved one still have their independence?
- Don’t forget ‘Your Why’
- Seek professional help wherever possible!
What type of care do they need?
Before moving a family member into your home, you should first consider their needs. Are they still relatively independent, or do they require a little assistance from time to time? Even if an elderly parent is just slowing down and there’s no specific illness, you’ll still need to anticipate their future needs.
Do you have the time to take this on?
If you and your partner are both working full time, and if you have other dependents like older children still living at home, you’ll need to consider the logistics of having an older adult living at home.
For instance, if they rely on you to arrange their appointments and accompany them, how will that tie in with your job and those other commitments?
Some people are fortunate enough to be able to cut back their hours and go part-time, but if not, make sure that stress and exhaustion don’t creep up, make sure to carve out some time for yourself.
Just because you care for others doesn’t mean you come last.
What are you able to provide?
Although it’s common for families to help, this role reversal can be challenging for everyone involved. Once you’re sure you’ve got time, your next step is to consider what you can do. Here are some things to mull over before you make your decision:
- Can anyone support you – will someone else help you, like a sibling? Or can you employ the services of a carer who can help provide home care?
- Think realistically – consult their GP to determine the type and level of care they will need, bearing in mind that this may increase over time. Make sure you are able to provide the assistance needed.
- Understand your limitations – will you be able to assist your loved one with daily living activities, or does this sound like too much of a burden to bear?
What is their financial situation?
Everyone’s financial situation is different, and a chat is necessary to avoid any unwanted stress or tension later on. Do they plan to contribute with rent or foot the bill for upgrades? In some cases, other relatives can often pitch in too. There’s no doubt having a family member move in can be expensive, but it has its benefits. It may be possible to come up with a better living arrangement if you pool your resources and purchase a home that’s much more comfortable than either of you could afford alone.
Can your home accommodate them?
Is your home suitable and can you afford the alternations if not? A couple of things to keep in mind are bathroom accessibility and bedroom placement. You may also wish to consider how long your parent will realistically be living with you, especially when major renovations are required, but in most cases, a few simple changes will help them adjust.
Try this handy checklist to prepare your home:
- Bathroom – consider grab bars and safety rails.
- Safe, secure decor – use anti-slip mats underneath any rugs, and get rid of loose, wobbly chairs.
- Walk-ways – general clutter is a trip hazard; why not speak to our team about offloading some items?
- Lighting – ensure rooms and hallways are well-lit.
- Safety sensors – you may find it helpful to have sensors placed on doors so that you’re alerted if your parent leaves the house.
How will it impact your relationship?
Do you have a close bond with your parents? Would this situation change it? After all, you’re now responsible for making all the decisions. Some older adults can adjust, which is great, but some can’t, and that’s tough. The main thing is to set out your boundaries from the very beginning. With a bit of compassion, you’ll be able to forge a new relationship with your loved one. A family meeting will also give everyone a chance to reassess the house rules. Those were for your old life before your parents moved in.
How do your spouse and kids feel?
On the topic of talking, have you talked to your family? Children, in particular, may need to get used to sharing some of the spotlight. If your parents also need a lot of supervision, you and your spouse will have less alone time. Before making this sacrifice, make sure you are both ready.
Will your loved one still have their independence?
Picture the scene; you’re all out of the house; will they be able to entertain themselves? The more independence they have, the more your parents will thrive, so encourage socialising with others as much as you can. Regardless of the size of your home, it’s also vital you and your parents have an area of your own. Here are some ways they can foster some independence:
TV – having a separate tv will prevent arguments, well, that is, unless the topic is who will win The Great British Bake Off.
Laundry – make sure your parents have their own laundry baskets and towels so they don’t get mixed up. You should also encourage your parents to do their own washing if they are capable of doing so.
Kitchen – if possible, give them their own kitchen cupboard and space in the fridge. It’ll make cooking and shopping more straightforward.
Renovations – despite the fact that adding square footage can quickly add up, it may still be cheaper than a care home in the long run.
Don’t forget ‘Your Why’
When things get tough, don’t forget to remember ‘Your Why’, i.e. the reason you moved your parent(s) into your home. It’s important to remind yourself why you offered to help, as it will keep you grounded, especially when emotions take over.
The following reasons may resonate with you:
- Since you know your parents are receiving the best possible care, it should give you a wonderful sense of pride
- When compared with the cost of long-term care facilities, you and your family will be saving money this way
- It’s possible you can count on your parents for help with childcare
- Best of all, you’ll get to spend more time with your loved one
Seek professional help wherever possible!
When it comes to moving elderly parents into your home, preparation is key, as is patience and honesty too. This transition will be just as daunting for them as it will be for you, so it pays to be prepared on all fronts. Giving yourself plenty of time will take the load off as well as hiring professional help wherever you can.
If you’re moving a loved one into your home, you might need to make extra space, why not store any items you don’t use very often, along with things your parents don’t want to part with? At Ready Steady Store, we provide a range of storage units in a variety of sizes for long and short-term rental. This way, they’ll still be able to access their things, plus, you won’t have to deal with extra clutter at home; not everyone has the room for two sofas.
With a nationwide network of stores, including Bournemouth, Northampton and Leeds, our furniture storage will make life a little easier. If you’re also unsure of the size of unit you need, our Size Estimator can help. Good luck, and we hope you’re able to come up with a plan that works for you all. Thanks for reading.