If you enjoyed the company of senior loved ones in your home this holiday season, you may feel one of two ways about their time with you. Maybe you’re relieved the festivities are over and are looking forward to an empty nest this new year – or perhaps you savored precious quality time with the seniors you barely see. Either way, if a parent or senior loved one is having increased difficulty with their current living situation, you may be seriously considering whether it’s a good idea to have them move in with you.
According to the Pew Research Center, one in five Americans lives in a multigenerational household with two or more adult generations. This recent trend is growing in America, especially after the Great Recession of 2007-2009. However, in collectivist cultures, interdependent multigenerational living is a deep tradition.
As our country becomes a melting pot of old and new family values, it can help to understand the pros and cons of having your parents live with you. If you’re on the fence as to whether or not this is a good decision, this article is meant to help you decide.
If you are privileged enough to have a healthy relationship with your parents, you may benefit from their guidance and company. Having your parents become part of your home opens you, your spouse, and your children to their wisdom, loyalty, and love. You will also reap the reward of giving your parents the quality of care and life they deserve. After the lifetime of parenting they have given you, it can be extremely fulfilling to return the favor.
Help with Daycare
Though many parents are not capable of child care, some who are can be godsends to your home. Should you have daycare needs while working or housekeeping, elderly parents can offer babysitting or pet-sitting relief. The average cost of full-time daycare for kids up to the age of 4 has reached $9,589 a year, which is just under the average cost for in-state college tuition. It is convenient to have a trusted and able loved one at home for child care, most ideally for free. Having your parents live with you can be a win-win situation where your daycare costs are eliminated and your parents get to enjoy the presence of young family.
As your parents age, their time with you here diminishes inevitably. Time is such a precious commodity that can go undervalued. In a busy life, it is easy to put off spending quality time with your parents when you are apart. During the time that they have left, living with them automatically gives you quality time together. Even better, your parents will be with family, where time can disappear in the warmth of a loving home.
With your parents at home, there will be increases in obvious expenses, such as food, water bills, electric bills, and remodeling. You should also consider the costs of their medical needs, clothing, and the time you may need to take off work to care for them. Faced with a potential increase in expenses, you may fear financial cost despite wanting your parents home with you. However, remember you have the ability to receive aid from federal cash benefits, direct private pay, long-term care insurance, tax exemptions, and tax benefits when your parents live with you.
Changing your family dynamic and living arrangements may also change the amount of privacy you have in your home. Living with additional people inevitably reduces space for you and anyone else in your family. When it comes to sharing bathrooms, the kitchen, the living room, and possibly remodeling it all for mobility issues, would you be willing to adjust for your parents? Luckily, healthy boundary setting can solve privacy issues if parents have to move in. Clear communication and respectful enforcement of those boundaries ensures that privacy is upheld.
When it comes to investing your time while your parents are at home, think about your daily routine now compared to how it will be when they move in. If you already find yourself strapped for time because of work, kids, relationships, household tasks, your commute, or errands, you may not have much time left for your parents. Especially if your parents have senior care needs, there may be too much that comes along with them for you to handle. Of course, should you decide it is necessary to open your home to your elderly parents, balanced time-management is your solution.
“Should Your Elderly Parents Move In With You?” by Michelle Mendoza, Amada Contributors