Guest post by Kristin Palardy
When is it time for an aging parent to move in with their son or daughter, or for the younger generation to move in with the parent? It’s fairly obvious that the right time is the point when a parent can no longer live independently because of physical challenges or serious health issues. Additional decisions are also necessary.
Which son or daughter is most appropriate? Where is the home located? Who has more adequate resources? Are there other options available? What kind of medical care will be required? Which home site offers greater independence and comfort for all the parties?
Begin the conversation early, if you can, and keep it going. Aim for harmony, simplicity and well-being throughout the move. Honor the parent’s request for holding on to small, meaningful keepsakes and maybe even larger ones. If possible, hire help to smooth out the rough spots. Here are five recommended steps for making the transition as stress-free as possible.
- Choose the home that will work best for both parties. A short-term solution could be considered first. Example: if the younger person could take a leave of absence to move into their parents’ home, care could be greatly simplified, especially if there are two parents involved. For long-term solutions, it makes more sense to have the retired parent(s) move in with the adult child.
- Decide how the home can be set up to allow maximum independence and safety for the parent. Walls can be created in existing structures or rooms added. Sometimes a lower level works best for the elder, as long as stairs and obstructions can be avoided.
- Recognize that boundary issues are bound to come up. Spatial arrangements can no longer be taken for granted once two households have merged. Conflict lurks in the most ordinary situations: different wake-up and bedtime schedules, dissimilar eating patterns, distinct variations in noise tolerance, disparities in political and economic views and a host of other distinctions that separate the two generations.
- Plan to work out the details as you ease into your mutual living arrangements. Keep your options open as both parties work out the glitches of living together. When an issue arises—and certainly there will be some—be a problem solver. Work on a win-win solution to lower distress for all parties.
- Involve siblings, friends and support persons in major decisions and every day care. Caregivers are often surprised at how willing others are to lend a hand. An open-door policy expands the number of helpers and brings fresh energy into the situation.
- Be prepared to enjoy yourself. As you confront and overcome difficulties—moving, settling in, getting re-acquainted with each other, solving problems—learn to lean back and feel the cushions. When you perceive the move as a unique opportunity, you’ll find your worries decrease and blessings increase.
About Rescue Alert of California™:
Rescue Alert of California™ is the premier medical alert provider and has designed its products and services to respond with speed, accuracy and dependability. They have been experts in senior health and eldercare for over a decade. Extensive years of experience, engineering and research have brought about the highest level of senior medical care and senior safety products. Visit Rescue Alert of California’s website here: http://rescuealertofca.com/.