Much like deciding to have a new child, deciding to ask your elderly parent to move in with you is a giant decision that can come with a lot of responsibility and have major repercussions. But sometimes all the extra cost and work can be worth it if the alternative is simply too risky for your aging parent. Your elderly parent's safety is the most important thing, and if he or she can no longer live safely alone, you may have to simply grin, bear it, and take him or her into your home, shouldering the extra load that caring for him or her around the clock will mean. Here are a few tips on how to know when it is time to take your parent into your home.
Signs It May Be Time To Move Your Parent in with You
Every family and every parent is different, and it's not always easy to tell when the time is right to invite your parent to live with you. Although his or her safety has a lot to do with this intensely personal decision, it is also important to consider your parent's emotional stake in his or her current residence and weigh that against the possible risks of staying there. You don't want to your parent to come to any physical harm, but neither do you want to damage or traumatize him or her emotionally.
Ultimately, as long as your elderly parent is of sound mind, the final decision on the matter will be up to him or her. At this stage, your job is simply to help your parent make the right decision.
If your elderly parent has recently had an accident or even a number of close calls, it may be time for him or her to move in with you. If an accident happens while he or she is living alone, it may take far too long for anyone to become aware of the situation and for help to arrive.
Living alone can often be a source of social isolation for an elderly parent. If your parent has plenty of friends that regularly visit, this may be less of a concern. If, on the other hand, he or she spends practically his or her entire life alone behind closed doors, this may be another incentive to invite him or her to live in your home.
A shriveled social life can also lead to greater vulnerability to stress-related health conditions, specifically heart problems. Moving in with you could actually help improve your aging parent's health.
Sometimes even the mundane tasks of daily living can become difficult for an elderly parent to manage on his or her own. Cooking can become a nearly insurmountable object. Doing the laundry can take hours, and shopping can take days.
If you notice that your aging parent's house is beginning to look dirty and unkempt, this may be a sign that it is time to invite him or her to live with you. This also applies to your parent's personal appearance. If your usually meticulous parent is beginning to look somewhat disheveled, he or she may welcome the invitation to live in your home where help and care will be much more readily available.
If your parent is on a specific medication plan but often forgets to take the pills at the proper time, this may be another contributing factor in your deciding to invite him or her to live with you. Having your aging parent stay in the spare room can help you make sure he or she is faithful to take his or her daily meds.