Older people want to live their lives to the fullest as long as they are able. They don’t want anyone to assume their judgment is impaired just because their mobility is declining. Older adults are usually willing to make life easier on others, but not at the cost of their independence.
If you make the decision to become a caregiver to an elderly person and have them move into your home, a new dynamic occurs. You are now if charge of that person. He or she is not in charge of you, as it might have been when you were a child. The adjustment is severe, especially for the caregiver if he or she also cares for children.
This can be a time when extreme tension is experienced by everyone involved. A sense of balance can be restored to the relationship when you openly talk to one another about issues such as needs, expectations, and setting boundaries.
When considering whether it makes sense to have aging parents live with adult children, take into account the following:
Do your parents want to live with one of their children, alone, or in a retirement community?
Do you have sufficient financial resources to receive your parents?
Is your house designed and equipped for them to live with you?
Will they have to climb stairs?
Ca safety features be installed in their bathroom?
Is there a separate living area for them to allow for privacy?
How does the rest of the family feel about having your parents move in?
How much time can be devoted to the caregiving role?
To help share the responsibility and to decrease stress levels, other people such as a spouse, children, brothers, sisters, other relatives, and friends should be involved. Ask for assistance and set up a schedule of who is available on what days and evenings to help out. Get other to commit to helping with certain activities. This gives the primary caregiver time for personal activities and other commitments.
Hillary Abrams is Founder and President of ElderCare Companions. If you would like to read more about this particular topic and other methods for successfully providing care to aging parents, please visit her website http://www.hillaryabrams.com.