Considering Moving an
Aging Parent Into Your Home?
Unless your elderly parent is among the lucky few who remain hale and hearty and healthy their whole lives through, there will likely come a time when living in their own home is no longer safe or practical for your parent.
Your mom or dad may be unsteady on their feet and are at risk of falling. They may be having difficulty taking care of themselves and their home. Or they may be becoming increasingly isolated and just plain lonely.
While independent living and assisted living communities are an option, you might be considering the idea of moving an aging parent into your home. The inclination is natural and understandable. Settling them in a familiar place, surrounded by family, and being there for them around the clock can seem like a great solution.
However, there are a variety of factors to evaluate before you take a step that can have an enormous impact on their quality of life and yours.
By looking at the financial costs, practical angles, and emotional impacts ahead of time, both you and your parent will be in a better position to make an informed decision.
To help you in this regard, we offer these thoughts:
1. Is It Financially Feasible to Move a Parent Into Your Home?
You might think that moving an aging parent into your home is a financial no-brainer. After all, if they are living in your home, they won’t have to pay mortgage or rent. Utilities, lawn care and home maintenance costs will be eliminated. Having your parent move in with you will be practically free, right?
However, according to AARP’s 2021 Caregiving Out-of-Pocket Costs Study, annual costs for caregiving tasks or supplies for an aging parent , average more than $7,200 per year. This estimate is solely focused on the cost of taking care of aging parents without wrapping in child-related expenses.
Beyond continuing to pay your own household expenses, including mortgage and insurance, you will likely increase payments for things like groceries, utilities, transportation, and entertainment.
You’ll also want to consider hidden expenses involved in caregiving, such as time spent transporting your parent to doctor appointments, the senior center, church and other destinations.
Because moving an aging parent into your home is far from free, you’ll want to take a clear look at your current budget and how adding another person with special needs to your household might affect family finances.
2. Is Your Home Safe for Your Elderly Parent?
If your parent has trouble walking or moving around, chronic pain, cognitive decline, or is contending with other challenging medical conditions, you might not be set up to keep them safe in your home.
While adding grab bars, brighter lighting and step-in showers can reduce the risk of falling, the cost of installation can add up. If your parent is developing memory issues, leaving them home alone when you go to work might not be an option. You may need to quit your job or pay for in-home care while you are away.
Consult with your local Area Agency on Aging for recommendations. If you can’t afford to provide them with the safety adjustments they need, moving them into your home might not be the best option.
3. Will Your Parent Feel Isolated or Lonely?
Unless your parent currently lives in the same town as you do, they will likely be leaving a lifetime circle of friends and associations behind. Most caregivers drastically underestimate how hard it is for a parent to adjust to a new environment.
If you and your spouse work outside of the home and your kids are in school most of the day, your parent will be spending a great deal of time alone. Watching TV isn’t a substitute for human contact, so you’ll want to check on the nearness of a senior center in your neighborhood. Then factor in whether your parent can drive there or take public transportation. If they can’t, you may have to take them there.
Many adult day programs offer personal enrichment such as exercise, art or photography classes, book groups or trips to cultural sites. Senior centers can also help your parent build a new social network. They are generally free or have low annual membership fees.
These are just a few of the things to think about when considering moving an aging parent into your home. Being prepared to meet the significant physical and emotional needs of your elderly loved one is essential for their and your continued well-being.
MorningStar Senior Living — Independent and Assisted Living Communities
If your loved one lives far from family and friends, it could be time to move into an independent living and assisted living community nearer to their adult children where they’ll have the companionship of fellow seniors and a compassionate service team. At MorningStar Senior Living, a 24/7 team is dedicated to offer care and hospitality services that meet each resident’s social, emotional, physical, and spiritual needs.