Do you remember your idyllic childhood? Perhaps you remember the evenings having boisterous family meals around the dining room table, the Christmases spent ripping open presents with your parents looking on, their faces beaming, or sitting on your dad’s shoulders like a toddler and having the most energetic and lively parents catering for your every need. Fast forward a few decades and things might have changed. Your mum and dad will be getting older, they will have inevitably slowed down a little, and their health may not be as tip-top as it once was.
When our parents’ age, we can be faced with our own mortality. As we witness the deterioration of our parents physical and sometimes mental state, our memories can become tinged with sadness as we remember what once was and can never be again. However, because you love your parents, you are willing to do anything within your power to make sure that their twilight years are happy and comfortable.
You might be tempted to invite your parents to live with you. While this can sound wonderful in theory, with your own offspring enjoying the company of their grandparents, in reality, this can be altogether less idyllic. Take a look at whether you are ready for such a commitment, or whether a more alternative approach to your parents future may be more appropriate.
Live In Parents
Having your parents coming to live with you can and will alter the dynamic of your household. This could be for the better of your family, or it could be stressful and a negative experience. When you invite your parents to live with you, you cannot turn back the clock and change your mind. Your mom or dad may be thrilled at the offer and jump at the chance to spend more time with their grandchildren. In principle, the idea of having more bodies in the home can be a good idea. If your parents don’t have too many health issues, you can pool financial resources, enjoy larger family gatherings and enjoy the benefit of having free live-in babysitters. At the same time, your little cherubs will adore having their grandparents around to hear stories about the olden days, to play games with and to have a different face pick them up from school.
While there are some incredible positive plus points to having your mom or dad live with you, this can become a fraught situation very quickly if the ground rules aren’t set. Remember when you used to live with your parents as an adolescent? They can become overbearing. On top of this, they may take on too much of a disciplinarian role with your kids, eat your food, be noisy late at night and generally not fit into the dynamic of your family home.
If health problems begin to emerge, your parents may need more professional care. This may mean more difficult decisions need to be made with regards to your parents care. Your home may not be the most suitable environment for them. However, leaving this comfortable home can be traumatic and heading to somewhere totally unfamiliar can result in heightened emotions.
If your parents are struggling to live independently, you don’t have to house them in your own pad. You might want to read more here and look into the possibility of assisted living. These complexes of small homes are very different to a care or nursing home. Your mom or dad will still be able to live on their own emulating the independence that they are so used to. However, there will be professional healthcare workers and wardens on hand twenty-four hours a day should they need assistance. The collective camaraderie of a complex can also lead to social circles expanding and your elderly relative’s diary becoming more jam-packed than yours has been in years.
Alternatively, your parents could even stay in their own home and have healthcare professionals visit them on a regular basis. This can vary from a meal on wheels service to more medical intervention when needed. As long as your parents are mentally competent and can physically look after themselves, there’s no reason why they cannot stay in their familiar and happy home environment.
If your parents are struggling with a medical condition whether this is an illness or dementia, they may need twenty-four hour care. When our parents struggle to look after themselves, it can be painful to witness. Although we may feel like we owe our parents, we shouldn’t feel burdened to them. We are not doctors or healthcare professionals, and this is what our parents may need at some point in their lives.
A nursing home may be the only suitable option to ensure that your parents receive the care they need. To ensure they are in the best environment, make sure that you keep all dialogue channels open with them. Go together to visit potential nursing homes, meet residents and staff and check out online reviews. A more local home will be more appropriate as you can visit regularly and be on hand should you need to get to your parents at short notice.
Make sure that you always ask your parents where they want to live. Although it may be difficult to hear, the idea of living with you and your lively brood may be your parents worst nightmare. They may welcome the opportunity to move into an assisted living facility, or they may understand the need to go into a nursing home. It’s vital that you listen to their wants and needs in order to maintain a positive and happy relationship.
Whether you should have your elderly relative live with you or not is a tricky question that only you can answer. Take into account every option available and keep your parents in the loop to ensure they don’t feel redundant in the decision-making process. With any luck, you will find the most appropriate living arrangements for your nearest and dearest that leaves the whole family content and happy,