Baby boomers are turning 75 and older, which is putting one question front and center for many families: “do mom and dad need more care?”
If the answer is “yes,” one option is for parents to move into their children’s home. If you’re considering this, here are key questions you need to ask and answer before packing the boxes and hiring a mover:
Questions to Ask Your Parent(s):
It’s important to have an open and honest conversation with your parents about this choice. If their mental health allows, they need to make this decision for themselves. Children shouldn’t assume they know what their parents want or even that they know what’s best. Parents’ preferences must be taken into consideration, and asking questions is the only way to figure them out. The best way to start is to ask simply, “Would you like to live with us?”
Other questions that will help guide your conversation include:
- What are your other options, and what is your first choice?
- What do you need to help you feel comfortable living with us? What things are most important to you?
- Would you like to contribute to the home’s finances? Are you able to contribute?
- Are you prepared to speak openly and honestly about things that aren’t working?
- How would you like to handle any problems that might arise, and what is plan B if this doesn’t work out?
Depending on your relationship with your parents, you might also need to discuss a few personal boundaries. For example, if your folks are often critical of your spouse or your children, you might want to ask if they’re willing to put those feelings on hold so you can all live together in peace.
Questions to Ask Yourself and Your Family:
You’re also going to need to do some candid self-reflection before inviting your parents into your home. While there might not be easy answers, the following questions must be asked:
- How long am I prepared to be a caregiver?
- What level of care am I prepared to offer? Are their needs around the clock?
- Do we need to modify our home to accommodate their needs? Is it necessary to install ramps or chairlifts or to buy ceiling lifts or other equipment?
- What am I willing to sacrifice to do this? Will this mean giving up vacations, money, sleep, or time alone?
- Can we afford this?
- Are we ALL okay with this decision?
- Do we need to set any boundaries?
The Bottom Line
Ultimately, you’ll need to consider whether your parents can truly thrive in your home. Taking time to ask questions and get answers is the best care you can give your parents and yourself.