There are pros and cons to having a parent move in and living together,
especially if Mom’s or Dad’s physical or mental condition demands constant
First, know that this is a major decision that deserves consideration. The
following are questions you can discuss to make the best decision possible
for you and your loved ones:
1. How Will You and Your Parent Get Along?
Understand that your parent’s personality traits will only increase when
you live together. Mom or Dad may be amicable and approachable lying in a
hospital bed after major surgery, but your parent may not be so helpless or
agreeable when you start living together.
Granted, your parent may become even nicer, but Mom or Dad may also become
impossible to live with. So, remove the halo and see the “real” person and
personality traits before deciding he or she should move into your home.
2. Who Will Pay for What?
It’s never easy to deal effectively with money between relatives. Keeping
monetary affairs separate from family affairs is usually in your best
However, when you are thinking about having a parent move in with you, it
would be wise to have a serious discussion about the monetary aspect of the
For example, consider discussing the cost of things like food, utilities,
clothing, medicines, doctor’s bills and rent. A frank discussion should
make this transition much more palatable.
3. Who Will Be the Caregiver and at What Time?
It’s possible you have siblings in the area allowing for some shared
responsibilities. At other times, it may be your sole responsibility to
manage the care of Mom or Dad (or both).
If you work, that may require the use of a professional caregiver to assist
with care provisions. Plan the details and
finances of this
in advance, and it will take the pressure off both you and your parent.
4. Is Your Parent Safe Here?
Sure, all of us think our home is safe, but many homes are not properly equipped for senior living and can present dangerous opportunities for crippling falls.
Does your home have a first-floor bedroom and bathroom? Would your parent easily be able to access the basics they need? Does the home need to be wheelchair accessible?
See our caregivers’ 7 Bathroom Safety Tips to Help Your Loved One Prevent Falls.
5. Who Will Make Decisions When Your Parent Cannot?
Of course, you never want to imagine your parent being so incapacitated that he or she cannot think or act in his or her own best interests.
However, there may come a time when that does occur, and you could be left powerless. With that in mind, it would be wise to sit down with your parent and decide who will have Power of Attorney (medical and financial) if your parent becomes incapacitated.
It may seem needless right now or like you could deal with it later; however, some decisions are best made well in advance of the actual need, eliminating further stress if the need arises.
There are other topics that you may want to broach with your parent before deciding if he or she should live with you such as having visitors stopping by or spending the night.
As you do consider how to best help your parent, you should also know that quality, professional resources do exist to keep your loved one safe at home. Click here to read “ 3 Key Ways a Professional Caregiver Makes Your Loved One’s Life Better.”