Should your ageing parent move in with you?

If you are considering moving in with an older family member to care for them, you are not alone. According to CarersUK, every year 2 million people take on a caring responsibility in the UK.

While caring for a family member, relative or friend can be a rewarding experience for both of you, there are also some challenges to consider. It is important to consider all aspects and challenges of caring for an older parent before making such an important and life-changing decision.

It is also vital that you recognise that their choice should come first, even if you don’t necessarily agree with it. Keeping conversations open between both of you and keeping their wishes at the forefront of any decision that is made will enable them to get the care and support they choose.

The following are some important factors for you and your loved one to consider before deciding if your ageing parent should move in with you.

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Important considerations to make

Respecting your loved ones’ decisions

The most important thing you always have to bear in mind when considering providing care for a loved one is what their wishes are and how they want to be cared for. It can be tempting to take over and think you know exactly what they need and what they should choose, but unless they are deemed to not have mental capacity or you are their appointed Power of Attorney, they should always be consulted about any decisions for their welfare. They may make decisions that you might think are unwise, but it is important to remember that they are at liberty to choose what they want to do and when they want to do it.

What kind of care does your loved one need?

The most important factor to consider before moving an ageing relative in is the kind of care your loved one might need.

If your parent is still healthy and relatively independent, then they will likely not require much support from you or your household, and they may not even want any help. This may be the ideal time for them to move in if they wish to, as it will allow them time to adjust to your home with little initial care required by family members.

If your loved one has greater physical or mental health requirements, you need to carefully consider whether you can meet these needs and also what their wishes are. On top of considering their current care requirements, you should also discuss with them what care they might need in the foreseeable future. When caring for someone that has complex or on-going care needs, it is important to have a plan in place in case their health changes rapidly and they require 24/7 support.

If your loved one has a complex medical condition like dementia or Parkinson’s, you must consider whether you are able to provide this type of specialist care or whether seeking the help of a nurse-led care service may be more appropriate.

How much assistance can you provide?

It is common for families to feel obliged to care for their loved ones as they age or as their health declines. It is important to consider carefully how much assistance you can realistically provide and also what your loved one would prefer. While caring for your older parent is an endearing way of giving back for all the love and care they’ve given you, it’s important to recognise your limitations, but to also realise that they may not choose care provided by you.. Your parents deserve the best care possible, after all.

Start by having a conversation with them and their GP about the type and level of care they are likely to require. Ask yourself if you can reasonably provide the care they need, especially if their care needs change in the future.

It is important to consider your schedule as well. If you work or have small children at home, can you make enough time for additional carer duties? Consider your support network and whether you’ll be able to request extra help if you need it. You might also want to consider the possibility of short-term respite care for when you need a break, so it’s worth discussing this with your loved one, too.

Do your other family members support this plan?

Care arrangements work best when the entire family is on board. It is always best to discuss new care arrangements with your loved one, siblings or family members early, openly and honestly. Financial issues often arise between family carers, their loved one and siblings. By keeping communication open and honest, you can avoid many potential problems.

How well do you get along?

Before making the decision to live with an older parent, you should both consider your relationship carefully and whether it can withstand the challenges of living together. While some conflict is normal in every familial relationship, adding additional carer duties can prove to be stressful for everyone involved.

If you are not close or do not get along well, it is unlikely that living together will remedy the situation. While living together and caring for your parent can indeed make you closer, it is not a guarantee. It is important for you both to consider when alternatives like dedicated live-in care are more appropriate considering your family history and current relationship.

If you are not close or do not get along well, it is unlikely that living together will remedy the situation. While living together and caring for your parent can indeed make you closer, it is not a guarantee. It is important for you both to consider when alternatives like dedicated live-in care are more appropriate considering your family history and current relationship.

Is your home suitable for their care needs?

Depending on your loved one’s care requirements, you may have to make adaptations to your home to meet their care needs. Are your staircases safe? Can you install grab bars in the bathroom? If there is no extra bedroom, can you convert a living room or den into a bedroom? Once you have both considered the suitability of your home and your loved one’s care requirements, you will have a better understanding of whether your home can meet their needs.

Have you considered the alternatives?

While caring for an ageing parent in your home is an option, it is important for you both to reconise that there are alternatives. There may be times when it is more appropriate to turn to a solution like live-in care rather than you providing full-time care for a parent.

While there are several alternatives to providing care for an ageing parent yourself, few offer as many benefits as live-in care. Live-in care is when a professional carer comes and lives with your loved one in their home to provide them with around-the-clock care, companionship and support so they can live a better quality of life, in the comfort and familiarity of their own home.

According to a survey conducted by the Live-In Care Hub, 97% of people given the choice would prefer to carry on living at home. Live-in care will enable your parent to get the care and support they need whilst maintaining as much independence, choice and dignity as possible.

The Good Care Group has been providing high-quality live-in care in the UK for over 10 years. Our care is focused on keeping people safely and happily in the comfort of their home, whilst improving their overall health and well-being and maintaining their independence

Contact our friendly advisors to learn more about how we can help you and your family.

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