If you have made the decision to move an elderly parent into your home, you may be feeling overwhelmed about the transition. You have undoubtedly become aware of the many challenges associated with consolidating households—from privacy expectations to big questions about finances. Here are five tips to help ensure a smooth move as you welcome your elderly parent into your home.
1. Think about the dollars and cents.
When you move an elderly parent into your home, you may be more focused on your parent’s health and wellbeing than on your wallet. Nevertheless, it is important to consider the potential costs. You should establish a budget for what this move will cost—not just in terms of moving expenses, but in terms of any necessary home improvements, increased utility consumption, and any required hourly senior home care in Sonoma County if your loved one needs support when you’re at work. It is important for you to discuss this budget with your parent before the move takes place. You should both be comfortable with how you decide to allocate costs and whether or not your parent will pay monthly rent.
2. Set expectations.
Apart from the financial considerations, you will want to set expectations with your parent about what it will actually mean to live under the same roof. You should discuss weekly schedules, any household rules for shared spaces, chores, and privacy expectations. You and your parent should both think about what rules you will need in order to enjoy your own spaces.
3. Get the house ready.
Some home improvements may be required before an elderly parent moves in. These improvements will ultimately depend on your parent’s health and mobility. Possible adjustments range from minor things, like installing slip guards and handrails in the shower, to major upgrades like ramps. You may also need to make other household adjustments, like leaving lights on during the night or installing privacy locks on doors.
4. Get organized.
One of the biggest challenges of a household consolidation is helping your parent determine which belongings he or she can reasonably bring. You will most likely need to help your parent sort through furniture, clothing, and personal items—be sure to balance available space against sentimental attachments that your parent may have to a life’s worth of possessions. As a compromise in case of disagreement, consider getting a storage unit for belongings that will not fit into your home.
5. Outsource strategically.
If you can afford it—and as part of your conversation about budgeting—consider outsourcing some of the labor so that you and your parent can focus on creating your new shared living arrangement. Examples of ways to outsource labor include: hiring movers, hiring professional organizers to sort belongings or re-design closet space, using a handyman or contractor for household repairs, using an accountant or computer software to track finances, and making arrangements with a local provider of elder care in Sonoma County for hourly or respite care. As always, check to see if any of your existing insurance or other benefits could cover or defray some of the associated expenses.
Although it may be overwhelming to move your elderly parent into your home, communication and organization can facilitate a smooth transition. Above all, make it a practice to talk to your parent if you have concerns, and urge him or her to do the same. Whatever challenges crop up during the process, remember that you are also gaining a great deal by having your parent with you—you will have greater peace of mind and the opportunity to spend much more time together.
Interested in learning more about senior home care in Sonoma? Whether you could use a period of respite or your loved one needs more care than you can provide on your own, Home Care Assistance is here to help. We are recognized for our hourly and live-in care and also offer specialized Alzheimer’s, dementia, and post-stroke home care in Sonoma County. Call a dedicated Care Manager today and request a free in-home consultation.