You’re thinking of having some new roommates: your parents. But before you help them pack up the boxes and get the rooms ready, you should ask yourself these three questions to see if the move is the best idea for all of you.
Will They Be Able to Age in Place?
When your parents are seniors, you have to ask yourself whether your home is accessible enough for them to “age in place.” Would they be able to use a mobility device in your home? Are there safety features like handrails and grab bars? Is the room lighting too dim for them to see properly?
You could try to revamp your space so that it’s more accessible and senior-friendly. Or you could take this as a sign that a retirement community that specializes in age in place living would be a better choice for them. The right retirement community will already have accessibility features like ramps, wide hallways, bright lighting and much more to accommodate your parents’ needs over the years. They’re ready for any changes in health or mobility that residents might go through.
If you’re not ready to renovate your home from top to bottom, this could be a good solution.
Are You Willing to Be a Caregiver?
If you’re willing to do the home renovations for your parent to move in with you, you have to ask yourself whether you’re prepared to take on the role of caregiver for them, too. At some point, your parent may not be as independent as they used to be. They might need a lot of help to get through the day.
Becoming a full-time caregiver is very hard. It can interrupt your career and put your life plans on hold. It’s emotionally taxing. It’s common to suffer from caregiver burnout after taking on the responsibility all on your own.
If you don’t think you could take on this responsibility, then a retirement home with professional caregivers might be a wiser choice for your parents.
Will You Clash on Parenting?
A lot of people clash on parenting styles with their elderly parents. When you’re all living together, it’s difficult to avoid any conflict over disagreements about how to raise your children properly. You might find that they’re too strict. You might find that they’re far too indulgent, spoiling your children at every opportunity that they get. When their parenting style is the polar opposite of your own, you’re going to get frustrated with them, no matter how good their intentions are.
What can you do? You can try to talk to them about your parenting style ahead of time. Try to establish some boundaries about what you’re fine with them doing and what you’re not. But the reality is that they might not listen. And you have to ask yourself if they can’t respect the boundaries you set, can you really live with them?
Things have changed since you lived with your parents. Now you have to make sure that it’s the right choice before bringing the family back under one roof.