There is a rising trend of parents moving in with their adult children. All across the country, unexpected problems that arise from this dubious living arrangement are causing family arguments, financial stress and increased divorce.
Before moving a parent in and making a life-altering change to the family harmony, there are many things to consider. Inviting an elderly parent to move in has far reaching implications on every aspect of your life, from financial impact to changing family dynamics, from role re-assignment to safety issues, from power struggles to eroding privacy.
Be open. Have a clear and open discussion with your family, siblings, spouse, kids and ultimately your parent, to decide if making the move is the right decision for all parties involved. Discuss:
Medical management. An elderly parent is apt to have a litany of doctor appointments, medication, and needs.
Moving day. Moving is stressful under any circumstance. Moving in an aging parent entails a permanent lifestyle change and one that may be met with resistance, which can make it even more difficult. Plan for every detail upfront to minimize the potential strife.
House rules. Your parent is used to running the household with his/her own rules. Everyone must openly acknowledge that each family member must compromise to make the new living arrangement successful. It is important to create a plan that is respectful to all parties, so your parent doesn't feel slighted and uncomfortable as the 'newcomer' to your home. You also want to make sure that you and your spouse do not feel like outsiders. Decide on:
David is an award-winning medical educator, filmmaker and director from www.caregivervillage.com who shares his firsthand account of what to do, what not to do and what can happen (the good and the bad) in his book When Your Parent Moves In. For more information, visit www.whenyourparentmovesin.com.
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