More and more often, children are stepping up to care for their aging parents in addition to already caring for their own young family. While this can be a great way to get some more time with an aging relative and build a stronger bond and relationship, it can also be a big strain on your family if you’re not careful. But when your parent is recovering from a hard surgery or just can’t take care of their own daily needs anymore, you may feel that having them move into your home is the best option. So to help make this transition a little easier on everyone, here are three tips for bringing your elderly parent to live with your young family.
Communicate Your Expectations
One of the biggest potentials for problems when bringing in a new family member to live at your home is when communication and expectations are different or not clearly defined. Depending on the level of care your parent needs, they may or may not be able to pitch in around the house. Knowing what they can and can’t do before you set any kind of expectations for them can help you avoid problems in the future. Also, according to Elizabeth Pope, a contributor to Care.com, it’s important that you express to your parent that they’re now a real part of your family here, not just a house guest. That means they won’t always be given a top priority or have all your attention at a constant basis.
Talk To Your Child About The Potential Changes
Before your parent moves into your home, you’re going to want to talk to your child about how having Grandma or Grandpa come to stay could affect them personally. Mard Naman, a contributor to Caring.com, shares that in some homes, kids will have to move rooms, share rooms, give up activities, gain more responsibility, and experience other changes when their family is caring for an elderly relative. Because of this, you shouldn’t just spring this change onto them. Consider speaking with your child beforehand and learning about any of their concerns so you can ensure everyone is as comfortable as possible with this new way of doing things.
Discuss How To Address Future Problems
While you may be hoping for the best, it’s also a good idea to be prepared for some hard times to come. To be ready to make some tough decisions in the future, Carol Bradley Bursack, a contributor to Aging Care, recommends that you discuss how you would handle some potential problems that may crop up in the future. By putting together a game plan of your family will respond or adjust when something doesn’t go according to plan, it may be easier to keep a clear head and do what’s honestly best for everyone involved.
If you’re considering having your aging parent come live with your young family, consider using the tips mentioned above to help everyone be prepared for these new changes.