Having your parent move in with you may seem like the greatest gift that you can give them. However, it is not always the easiest thing to do, especially if your parent requires a lot of extra care. You may end up resenting them and ruining a good relationship, or straining an already fragile relationship. Should you really offer to let your parent move in? If you decide the answer is yes, here are some tips to help:
- Talk about it first. Not only do you have to talk about it with your spouse or roommate and your parent(s), you need to have the blessing from everyone who lives with you. This will affect every single person in the house, so they should all have a chance to discuss the pros and cons, and voice their opinion.
- Plan, plan, and plan some more. It is important to plan this carefully. Have a room available for your parent. Don’t just stick him or her in the spare room with all of your things. Clean it out and let him or her decorate if they want. It is also important to plan for the future. What will the plan be when your parent becomes weak and needs more care or specialized equipment? Are you going to have home care come in to help or is assisted living or memory care going to be necessary?
- If you are selling the family home, allow plenty of time when it comes to packing. It can be very difficult to have to downsize. It takes time to decide what to pack up, sell, donating, or trash. Make sure that you have time to go through everything without rushing. Take a few months (or more) to make sure that it goes as smoothly as possible, not causing undo stress on everyone involved.
It can be hard to have a parent move in with you, though it may be a blessing. Remember to involve everyone in the decision, plan for the future, and allow plenty of time to prepare. This can be the hardest thing that you &/or your parent will ever have to do, but it can also be the most rewarding.