Your elderly mother has been living alone for years, but now she’s starting to worry you. The last few times you were over at mom’s place you noticed that she looks frail and is having a lot of trouble getting around. As a very proud and independent woman, mom has always made it very clear that she doesn’t want to go to a nursing home. At this point you may be asking yourself “Should I ask mom to move in with me?”. Deciding if you should move an aging parent into your home takes some thought. Here’s how to determine if it’s the right call.
Signs Your Aging Parent Needs Help
According to the National Institutes of Health (NIH; www.nih.gov), roughly 25% of family caregivers live in the same home with the elderly relative they’re caring for. For pride and privacy reasons, many aging parents balk at the idea of moving in with their grown children. But when you suspect that your elderly parent needs help, look for these warning signs:
- Not enough food in the home
- Home is dirty and unkept
- Not taking their medications as prescribed
- Piles of dirty dishes and laundry in the house
- A disheveled or frail appearance
- Broken appliances that aren’t getting repaired
- Unpaid bills lying around
If your mom is exhibiting one or more of these signs, it may be time to have “the talk” with her about moving in.
Is Moving Mom in a Good Idea?
Before officially inviting your parent to move in, honestly answer these important questions:
How Much Care is Needed?
Contemplate your loved one’s mental and physical condition beforehand, including any chronic illnesses and mobility issues. If your aging parent is still relatively healthy and independent, they will probably not require much care at first. Living together will give you and your children more time to bond with their grandparent. On the other hand, if their health is on the decline due to a chronic medical condition, at some point around-the-clock care may be necessary which can significantly alter your family’s normal routine.
What’s Our Relationship Like?
How well do both you and your spouse get along with mom or dad? If you’ve always butted heads, living under the same roof is only going to magnify those personality conflicts and cause more stress. If your relationship is good, maintaining a high quality of life for everyone in the household will be much easier.
Will I Have Enough Time?
Most family caregivers feel obligated to bring their aging parents into their households when their health is declining because it’s a way to return their love and nurturing over the years. But role-reversal situations can be frustrating for everyone. The level of assistance that mom needs will probably also increase over time. Do you have children to take care of? Do you work outside the home? Are you willing to give up some of your social activities and sleep to care for mom?
Is Our Home Safe?
Next, think about any safety modifications that you’ll need to make to your home. That could be anything from totally remodeling a bathroom, to installing an outside wheelchair ramp. Is there a spare bedroom available for your parent? Will you need to elder-proof the kitchen or entry doors because your mom has dementia?
Who Will Be Footing the Bill?
In addition to home upgrades, caring for an aging adult can be an expensive undertaking. According to the National Alliance for Caregiving (NAC; www.caregiving.org), family caregivers spend on average between $5,500 and $15,000 out of pocket annually for elder care expenses like food, medicine, clothing and transportation. Are your parent or siblings going to contribute anything towards those costs? Are you eligible for financial compensation from the government for being a caregiver?
We’re Another Reliable Option for Aging in Place Seniors
Whether you do or don’t decide to move an aging parent into your home, another option you have is placing your trust in a professional caregiver from Charter Home Health who can provide private duty home care in Philadelphia and the surrounding areas. As a fully licensed and insured home care agency, all our in-home caregivers are well trained and carefully screened beforehand to ensure the safety and comfort of all parties involved. Our family trusted services include light housekeeping, personal hygiene, meals, medication reminders, escorted transportation and companionship.
We also conveniently offer hourly to around-the-clock senior care packages so that you can restore your peace of mind without breaking your budget. To learn more about Charter Home Health now, or to schedule a FREE, in-home consultation for your senior today, please call or visit us online!