At some point in life, most adults consider moving mom, dad, or even both parents into their home.
With the rising costs of elder and nursing home care, not to mention the guilt that often comes with putting a parent in a home, weighing this option is only natural for most sons and daughters.
But is it the right decision for you and your family? What about your finances? Most of all, what’s best for your parent?
Before you make a huge decision that impacts all those around you, be sure to ask these all-important questions first:
- Can your home (and family) comfortably accommodate them? First off, is your home big enough? Do you have an extra room you can dedicate to your parents? Are there plenty of bathrooms? Are common areas spacious enough to accommodate your entire family comfortably? Keep in mind it wouldn’t just be your parent (or parents) moving in. It will also be their stuff. Make sure you have the square footage and space to house all that.
- Can your lifestyle accommodate them? Next, think about your lifestyle. Do you work late nights? Is the house often empty and unaccounted for? Are your kids usually running amok, making loud noises or messes? Is your schedule unpredictable? If they can no longer live on their own, then your parents likely need a little (or a lot) of help around the house. Be sure you and your family members are prepared to offer that — or make the adjustments necessary to do so.
- Is your house safe enough / does it meet their physical needs? If not, do you have the funds to make renovations or upgrades to ensure it does? If your parent’s in a wheelchair, has an injury or is suffering from some sort of physical or mental condition, you need to make sure your home is safe for them to be in. A wheelchair-bound parent would need ramps, wider doorways, and lower counters and sinks. A parent with poor eyesight may need more lighting around the house. One with a back injury may need a special mattress or chair in which to sit. Keep in mind that as people age, their physical conditions can deteriorate quickly. Even if they don’t need special accommodations now, they might a few months or years down the line. Make sure you can make those when they crop up.
- Are your immediate family members in agreement on the move? If you have a spouse, kids, or other family members in the house, they all need to be at peace with the decision. Having an aging parent in the home can be a lot of work, and everyone should be willing to help, chip in, and take on the responsibility it will require moving forward. If you can’t all agree, it may be best to explore other options.
- Will they need healthcare or other services? If so, how will you provide it? In the event your parent needs professional health or medical care, you’ll need to think about those logistics as well. If there room for a live-in caregiver if necessary? Are the funds there to cover it? Is there space for the medical equipment their caretakers will need? Meet with a home healthcare provider to talk through your options first.
- Is it in your parent’s best interest? The most important thing is that you’re making this decision to benefit your parent — not out of guilt or just for financial reasons. Will your parent get the care and attention they need in your home? Will it benefit their health and mental state by being at your side? Out of all the options they have, what would give them the happiest, healthiest, and most fulfilling life?
- What is your parent’s preference? Finally, if they’re able to, have a conversation with your parent about the move. If living solo is no longer necessary, where would they prefer to live? With you? With a sibling? At a senior community or assisted living facility? Talk through their options, as well as any concerns they may have. Many parents don’t want to feel like a burden on their children, so they actually prefer living elsewhere, utilizing paid help instead. Just make sure you give your mom or dad the chance to voice their opinion — and don’t make the decision on their behalf if you can help it.
If you do decide that moving a parent (or two) into your home is the best route forward, then you may want to consider a cash-out refinance to help you pay for home renovations or important accessibility upgrades on the property. This could mean installing a wheelchair ramp, adding pull bars around the toilet and tub and widening doorways and hallways to accommodate chairs, canes, and walkers.
Want to know what options you have for covering these updates? Contact an Embrace loan officer today for help.