Senior Caregiving: A Change on Your Homefront


Moving out of your own home can be traumatic. Your memories are there and your independence may be as well. So when the time comes that you can no longer live alone, it can be frightening and sad. No wonder so many seniors fight moving to a more secure living situation. In addition, because Medicare doesn’t pay for long-term-care, many seniors can’t afford to move to a nursing home or senior living complex. Adult children may be able to help when they plan to move the parent into their own homes.

  • Planning is What it Takes

If your home is not large enough for your parent to have sufficient space, you might consider adding some more room. One man who did this called the addition his “mother-in-law suite.” It had a separate entrance, its own bath and bedroom as well as a small “sitting room” to accommodate guest visits and give Mom some private space.

  • Mom’s Needs Will Change Over Time

If adding rooms is in your plan, keep in mind that Mom’s needs will change over time. That means planning for wheelchair accessible doors and brighter lighting. An occupational therapist can help you anticipate what adaptations your new space should have to make Mom’s transition easier. Even if you are only giving up a spare bedroom to Mom or Dad, you will have to make some alterations to accommodate their needs.

  • Expenses 

Another thing to keep in mind is the expense involved with building an addition. The average cost of adding a “master suite” is $111,245. In addition, you should factor in the lost income you might incur from taking “caregiver days.” Your parent may contribute to the family income through Medicare or through investment income, but your budget will probably still have to stretch to include added utilities and other expenses.

  • Your Family’s Lifestyle Will Change
Having your parent live with you will certainly change your family’s lifestyle. You should take the needs of every family member into account before making the decision. You may lose some privacy and give up some of your “free time,” but the experience of having a grandmother or grandfather close at hand is invaluable to kids. The peace of mind you have knowing that your loved one is being cared for by people who genuinely care is worth a lot as well.