Should You Encourage Your Parents to Move In?

October 10, 2019

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As your parents get older, they will need increasing amounts of care. But while there are many different options available to you, what is the best move? Should you ask your parents to move in with you? Should you try to keep them in their own home for as long as possible? Or, should you help them move into a care home?

Each option is just as emotive as the last and you definitely need to have an open and honest conversation with your parents before you do anything. However, you also need to think about the practical ways you can help your parents. Adapting your parents’ home, or your home could be expensive but might save you money on care in the long run. Equally, you may not be able to provide the care your parents need at home. 

So how should you decide? Which option should you pick? 
Here are 3 questions to ask to decide whether you should encourage your parents to move in with you or if you should pursue another option. 

Can You Adapt Your Home?
The most practical question first. Adapting your home can be expensive and can change the atmosphere of your space. While handicap ramps and grab rails are useful, they aren’t very likely to blend in with your current decor! 
Creating a safe environment for seniors will also mean that you have to adjust your routine and change your habits. So, you may need to adapt your kitchen to minimize the possibility of accidents and you will almost certainly need to adapt your bathroom to avoid slippery surfaces and any potential for a fall. 

Can You Provide the Best Care?
While you may be able to help your parents in a very practical way, can you be sure that you will provide the best care? Older people need a lot of care from healthy meals through to medications and personal help. You need to be totally honest with yourself here - are you prepared to do all of this with and for them? 
Taking care of someone full time is a lot of work and you will need to be on your toes. Many people end up giving up work to help their parents, which may be emotionally satisfying but might not be the most economical model to follow. 

Can You Deal With the Stress?
Being a caregiver can be very stressful and caregiver burnout is a common issue. If you are already working a difficult job or feeling stressed, adding the pressure of caring may not be the best idea for you. 
However, if you are optimistic and realistic, there are things you can do to minimize your stress. Taking some time for yourself is a big part of this but you should also consider talking to a therapist so that you have the tools you need to stay strong. 
Encouraging your parents to move in could be a brilliant move for everyone but it could also be detrimental to your family. Answering these questions with brutal honesty is a vital indicator of what will be best for everyone. But you also need to have a calm and empathetic conversation with your parents. After all, this is about them.

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