Are you thinking about moving your parent in with you? Here are 5 cohabitation realities you may not have considered yet!
This post is in no way written to scare you or dissuade you from allowing your parents to move in with you.
There are simply serious points to consider as you take this very important decision.
Let’s dive in.
5 things to consider before moving your parent in
1-You have changed. So has your parent.
It is important to realized that since you moved out from your parent’s home in your late teens or early twenties, both you and your parent have changed.
Your personalities may have remained the same but perhaps they way you like to eat or the way you like to keep your home has changed drastically.
They are set in their ways. And you are set in yours.
This may cause some friction between you and them.
It is important to realize that personal conflicts will arise because of this.
2- The time/money investment
Moving your parent in with you is a time and money investment.
If you have to move your parents by yourself, you will have to take time off work, go over to their home, help them pack, get rid of stuff they don’t need and then finally load everything into a vehicle to move them.
You can spread the time you do this over a period of weeks or months.
There will be a time investment regardless of the approach you take.
Let’s also not forget that a time investment goes beyond moving day.
In the initial phases of moving your parent in, if they need home care and you have not engaged the services of a home care agency, you will have to take up that responsibility.
You will also have to plan to spend quality time with your aging parent.
When it comes to money, the financial investment involved in moving your parent in will show up in different forms:
- Moving day will cost money
- Any renovations and adjustments you have to make to your home will cost money
- Your bills may increase with an additional family member living with you
If you’re deciding now to move your parent in, it is important to understand that your parent may not be able to work to help you pay the bills around the house.
Settling this thought within yourself will keep fights about money to a minimum.
3- Equip your home properly for your parent
This is especially important if your parent has health and/or mobility issues.
Your bathroom will need supports to help your parent take safe showers independently.
Walkways around your home will need to be well-lit to avoid falls.
You will need to upgrade Fire and carbon monoxide detectors.
For parents who have dementia or suffer with Alzheimer’s disease, you may have to make sure that their bedroom is set up in a safe way so they don’t hurt themselves in an unfamiliar environment.
For more on how to equip your home safely for senior adults, please read this post.
4- Unresolved conflicts may flare up
Having to care for your parent you have had conflicts with in the past may be unavoidable.
Living in close proximity with them could cause unresolved personal conflicts to flare up.
In this case, it is important to remember a few things.
- You have a personal moral code. This code dictates how you treat people whether you like them or not. You employ this code when you have to work with people everyday who rub you the wrong way. Use this code with your parent.
- Discuss and enforce boundaries. Most of our conflicts come down to the fact that we have not set boundaries for the people we interact with. When boundaries are clear and the rules are set, trespassing is kept to a minimum.
- Clear up the confusion and forgive them…even if the forgiveness only comes from your end. It is always better to be the bigger person and as Elsa sings in the movie Frozen “Let it go”.
5- Making a decision to move your parent may not be a singular decision
Unless you are a single person, making the decision to move your parent into your home is not a singular decision.
You will have to discuss the decision with your spouse and children and get them on board.
Neglecting to do so can be another cause of conflicts in your home.
Moving your parent in with you is a noble thing.
In your case, it may be the best decision for you and your parent.
However, like any important in life, it is important to consider all angles of it before you make a decision.
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