Our parents spend many years taking care of us. As we get older, though, for some of us, there may come a time when you need to take care of them. Perhaps they are unable to afford their own place, or they have medical issues that require some more constant help. Whatever the reason, if your parents are planning to move in with you, you’re likely to face some challenges along the way. Here are some tips you can use to make this transition a little easier for everyone involved.
Set Some Boundaries
For starters, you should set some boundaries with your parents. You’re an adult now, and you need to be able to live your life as one. If you find your parents constantly butting in with things like your finances, how you manage the home or your children, you’ll need to set some boundaries. However, this goes both ways. Remember that your parents are used to being on their own as well and don’t need you to micromanage their entire lives. Be sure to give them their own personal space, and everyone will be a little better off.
Do not take the “My house, my rules” approach that your parents might have taken when you were younger. Cohabitating will require boundaries and expectations that need to be realistic. Asking your parents to do every household chore or be a live-in maid simply is unfair.
Give Them Their Own Space
A big part of boundaries is giving your parents their own space. They should have their own room that they can do with what they want. If you can put this room on another floor, that’s even better. The goal is to give your parents a separate space that is as far from you as possible while staying within the same home. Of course, this isn’t always possible, but when it is, you should take advantage. If you can also give your parents their own bathroom, that would be good too. Their own space will help them to feel more independent and provide you with some needed space as well.
Being able to live peacefully will require separate spaces as disagreements will occur. In-law suites with different entrances are ideal as you will be able to help your parents while maintaining privacy.
Make Your Home Safe
As we get older common things around the home become more dangerous. According to Rosewood Homecare, “Falls are the most common cause of injury among the elderly. This means you should take some time to make your home safer for your parents. For example, you can add some rugs on your hardwood floor to make them less slippery. Or add in some handrails inside your shower or bathtub.”
You should also consider getting your parents an emergency call button so that they can call for assistance if no one else is around. Take your parents’ personal needs into consideration when making your home safer, and they will be less likely to injure themselves.
Get Extra Help
In some cases, your parents will need extra assistance – more than you can provide. In situations like this, you should look to bring in some extra help. For example, you can have an at-home nurse come to your home during the afternoons when you are at work to help take care of your parents. This will provide you with some peace of mind and take some stress off your shoulders.
Another way you might need help is with money. Taking a parent raises your expenses, and many people have trouble affording it. If you’re struggling with money, you should explore your options for help. For example, when your parents move in you should talk to your their insurance provider to see what sort of at-home care they cover. Or if your parents are able, help them find a simple part-time job that brings in some additional money. Finances can get tight when more people are living in a home, but there are options out there that can help you.
Try to Enjoy It
Finally, if you find yourself living with your parents again, try to enjoy it. There may be some stressful or uncomfortable times ahead, but keep things in perspective. We only get so much time to spend with our parents, and one day they won’t be around any longer. When that happens, you’ll be glad you got to spend so much extra time with them. So, if tempers start to rise or if stress starts to get to you, take a deep breath and remember that getting more time with your parents is actually a blessing.
Start Preparing for Your Parents Now
Whether your parents already moved in or they are doing so soon, the best time to start preparing is now. Get your financial situation in order, make sure your home is safe, and try to find a space for them that allows you both to live your independent lives. If you can do this, you should make the transition a little easier for everyone involved.
The transition is going to come with growing pains when your parents move in with you. You might miss the privacy that you once had, and they could miss the independence they had. There are perks to having your parents move in with you, especially if you have children. Childcare becomes expensive very quickly, and grandparents always seem to be willing babysitters. This will be a time of change, so take it on with a positive attitude!