As our parents age, it’s not uncommon to face decisions about where they’ll live and who will take care of them. If you’re facing these life changes, here’s what you need to know to get your home and your family ready for your parents to move in with you.
Understand Why the Move is Happening
While a family member moving into your home is always a momentous occasion, the why matters a great deal. If they can no longer afford to live on their own and need to cut expenses, that’s one thing. But if your parent is ill, frail, or facing growing health challenges, you’ll face a different set of issues. In some cases, it may be both.
Understanding the why can help you and/or your spouse figure out the best course of action. What adjustments you need to make around your home and in your schedule. How much the change will cost. And, importantly, how this will impact your entire family.
Talk About It
You and your parents should have long, serious discussions well before they move in. You both need to discuss any concerns or questions you have, figure out how finances will work, and what everyone is responsible for. In some cases your parents may be more like roommates, and in other cases, you may need to help take care of them.
Figuring these things out after they’ve moved in only makes a stressful situation worse. While you can’t plan for every possibility, you know how you live your life and (depending on their current health) your parents know how they live their life. Discuss both in great detail to find areas of compromise to keep the stress to a minimum.
Have a Family Meeting
Your kids should not be surprised on move-in day that Grandma and Grandpa are moving in for good. Before the move, have a conversation with your children so they understand what’s happening and why. This is especially important if your parents have any health problems. This is going to change the entire family dynamic, and your kids should be as prepared as possible.
Talk to your siblings, cousins, aunts, uncles, and anyone who’s closely involved with your family. You may need extra support from them. They should also understand what this change means for the entire family.
Make Your Home Safer
If you have young children, you may have already childproofed your home. That’s a good first step for some safety features, but older people have other concerns. Fears of falling and tripping, not seeing well in dim light, and being unable to open doors and cabinets are real concerns. Depending on the health of your parents, safeguard your home in preparation for their arrival.
- Add bed rails
- Install grab bars in the shower and bathroom
- Put in a raised toilet seat or higher toilet
- Make slippery surfaces non-skid where possible
- Install lever handles instead of door knobs
- Add more and better lighting
- Discuss home health care needs
- Make accommodations for wheelchairs, service animals, and other aids and devices
Create Space for Mom and Dad
Depending on your living situation, your parents may take a spare bedroom you have or you may be able to give them a dedicated space like a mother-in-law suite. This will be determined by your existing home, of course. If you’re sharing your home, then that means you’ll be sharing bathroom and kitchen space, too.
If you have a finished basement, space over your garage, or some other dedicated space that can be converted, this could be a great option. Especially if your parents are still able to take care of themselves. With a separate living space, there are things to consider such as higher utility costs and more time spent cleaning and keeping up that part of the property. But it can also offer independence for your parent(s) while giving everyone peace of mind.
Before your parents move in, make sure your homeowners insurance will cover the addition to your family. Especially if you have a separate living space for them to use. Contact Charlotte Insurance today. We’ll explain what your policy covers and what, if any, changes you’ll need to make before Mom and Dad move in.