Is there enough room in the home? The guest bedroom could be used or the children could share a room. The home office or den could be changed into something cozy and comfortable with a bed and some furniture from the former house or apartment. For those already in tight spaces, adding another person to the equation may be too much. This can be remedied by a home remodeling addition or converting an existing space, such as the garage, into a usable efficiency apartment. Consider any special features that may need to be added, such as a wheelchair ramp and hand rails to help with mobility.
People have different abilities as caregivers, just as their parents have different needs for assistance. Some seniors may need private nursing services around the clock or in the home while the rest of the family is at work or at school. On the other hand, they may be able to drive themselves and do not need anyone watching over them during the day. Many people are in between the two. They may require some help walking or with bathing. This can be done by family members or by senior home care providers. There are also senior companions that are specially trained with Alzheimer’s patients and those with dementia so that the client does not wander off unattended. The degree and frequency of help needed can be determined by a physician or a home care agency.
Some family members get along better than others. While the stereotype of the bossy mother-in-law living with her daughter is frequently showcased in television comedies, in reality it may not be a laughing matter. On the other hand, the living situation could be the perfect combination. Some seniors may not want to be a burden to their families; others may be ready to move in and take over the household immediately without a second thought. One frequent reason for hesitation of seniors moving in with their families is that they do not want to give up their independence, their homes or their friends. Having separate living quarters or a room that is “off limits” to the rest of the family may help to lessen those feelings. Encouraging them to engage in social activities with their friends or making new ones their age may help.
Taking the time to evaluate the situation and choose what works best for each family situation is the first step in making a decision.