Opening Your Home to an Elder

Reviewed Jun 7, 2016

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Summary

Before you invite an elder to move in with your family, consider the physical space, your finances, elder care needs, and more.

Having an older loved one share your home can have many benefits. Spending time with your family gives older adults a sense of belonging. You and your children can enjoy seeing the world through the eyes of your loved one. Yet problems can arise with these living arrangements, and the problems can be dealt with quickly if they have been anticipated. The old saying "An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure" holds true here.

Before you extend the invitation for an older adult to move in with your family, there are several issues that you should consider:

  • Look at the physical space in your home. Will your loved one have a private space to sleep and spend time alone? If a family member has to give up a bedroom, be sure that member agrees to the arrangement. Will you have to make modifications to accommodate your loved one, such as adjusting the bathrooms, stairways and kitchen? Will he feel comfortable living in your space? And will you feel comfortable having another person living with your family?
  • Think about the financial issues. How will your household expenses change with the addition of your loved one? Expenses may increase; however, she may be able to contribute. Also consider if you will need care for your loved one during the day when you are away at work. Someone in the household may have to change his working schedule to care for your loved one.
  • Don’t overlook elder care needs. Think about the level of care your loved one needs. Are you in a position to hire someone to come in and take care of her, or will you or another family member be responsible for care? Check with your community and various elder care associations to learn what kind of support is available. Also, if you need to take time off from work to care for an older adult who is ill, check into the Family and Medical Leave Act. This act allows you to take a leave of absence from work for a specified period of time with the guarantee of a job when you are ready to return.
  • Establish a means of communicating. Make sure that you, your family and your loved one are clear on how to talk about problems. Family members should feel that it is OK to express their feelings appropriately. When lines of communication are open, situations are likely to be resolved more quickly.
  • Don’t forget social activity. Spending time apart can be just as important as spending time together. If possible, make sure that your loved one can spend time with friends and participate in activities outside the home, such as those provided through a local senior center. He should feel a sense of independence for as long as possible.

Opening your home to an older loved one can be very gratifying for everyone involved. Remember that help is readily available through such organizations as the Administration on Aging (The Eldercare Locator), community social services groups and even church groups. Don’t be afraid or embarrassed to seek assistance—after all, this is a new phase in your life. During other phases of your life, you probably felt better when you spoke with someone who understood what you were feeling. This phase is no different—only the questions have changed. So ask away until you are satisfied with the information you get.

By Tanya Lochridge

Summary

Before you invite an elder to move in with your family, consider the physical space, your finances, elder care needs, and more.

Having an older loved one share your home can have many benefits. Spending time with your family gives older adults a sense of belonging. You and your children can enjoy seeing the world through the eyes of your loved one. Yet problems can arise with these living arrangements, and the problems can be dealt with quickly if they have been anticipated. The old saying "An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure" holds true here.

Before you extend the invitation for an older adult to move in with your family, there are several issues that you should consider:

  • Look at the physical space in your home. Will your loved one have a private space to sleep and spend time alone? If a family member has to give up a bedroom, be sure that member agrees to the arrangement. Will you have to make modifications to accommodate your loved one, such as adjusting the bathrooms, stairways and kitchen? Will he feel comfortable living in your space? And will you feel comfortable having another person living with your family?
  • Think about the financial issues. How will your household expenses change with the addition of your loved one? Expenses may increase; however, she may be able to contribute. Also consider if you will need care for your loved one during the day when you are away at work. Someone in the household may have to change his working schedule to care for your loved one.
  • Don’t overlook elder care needs. Think about the level of care your loved one needs. Are you in a position to hire someone to come in and take care of her, or will you or another family member be responsible for care? Check with your community and various elder care associations to learn what kind of support is available. Also, if you need to take time off from work to care for an older adult who is ill, check into the Family and Medical Leave Act. This act allows you to take a leave of absence from work for a specified period of time with the guarantee of a job when you are ready to return.
  • Establish a means of communicating. Make sure that you, your family and your loved one are clear on how to talk about problems. Family members should feel that it is OK to express their feelings appropriately. When lines of communication are open, situations are likely to be resolved more quickly.
  • Don’t forget social activity. Spending time apart can be just as important as spending time together. If possible, make sure that your loved one can spend time with friends and participate in activities outside the home, such as those provided through a local senior center. He should feel a sense of independence for as long as possible.

Opening your home to an older loved one can be very gratifying for everyone involved. Remember that help is readily available through such organizations as the Administration on Aging (The Eldercare Locator), community social services groups and even church groups. Don’t be afraid or embarrassed to seek assistance—after all, this is a new phase in your life. During other phases of your life, you probably felt better when you spoke with someone who understood what you were feeling. This phase is no different—only the questions have changed. So ask away until you are satisfied with the information you get.

By Tanya Lochridge

Summary

Before you invite an elder to move in with your family, consider the physical space, your finances, elder care needs, and more.

Having an older loved one share your home can have many benefits. Spending time with your family gives older adults a sense of belonging. You and your children can enjoy seeing the world through the eyes of your loved one. Yet problems can arise with these living arrangements, and the problems can be dealt with quickly if they have been anticipated. The old saying "An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure" holds true here.

Before you extend the invitation for an older adult to move in with your family, there are several issues that you should consider:

  • Look at the physical space in your home. Will your loved one have a private space to sleep and spend time alone? If a family member has to give up a bedroom, be sure that member agrees to the arrangement. Will you have to make modifications to accommodate your loved one, such as adjusting the bathrooms, stairways and kitchen? Will he feel comfortable living in your space? And will you feel comfortable having another person living with your family?
  • Think about the financial issues. How will your household expenses change with the addition of your loved one? Expenses may increase; however, she may be able to contribute. Also consider if you will need care for your loved one during the day when you are away at work. Someone in the household may have to change his working schedule to care for your loved one.
  • Don’t overlook elder care needs. Think about the level of care your loved one needs. Are you in a position to hire someone to come in and take care of her, or will you or another family member be responsible for care? Check with your community and various elder care associations to learn what kind of support is available. Also, if you need to take time off from work to care for an older adult who is ill, check into the Family and Medical Leave Act. This act allows you to take a leave of absence from work for a specified period of time with the guarantee of a job when you are ready to return.
  • Establish a means of communicating. Make sure that you, your family and your loved one are clear on how to talk about problems. Family members should feel that it is OK to express their feelings appropriately. When lines of communication are open, situations are likely to be resolved more quickly.
  • Don’t forget social activity. Spending time apart can be just as important as spending time together. If possible, make sure that your loved one can spend time with friends and participate in activities outside the home, such as those provided through a local senior center. He should feel a sense of independence for as long as possible.

Opening your home to an older loved one can be very gratifying for everyone involved. Remember that help is readily available through such organizations as the Administration on Aging (The Eldercare Locator), community social services groups and even church groups. Don’t be afraid or embarrassed to seek assistance—after all, this is a new phase in your life. During other phases of your life, you probably felt better when you spoke with someone who understood what you were feeling. This phase is no different—only the questions have changed. So ask away until you are satisfied with the information you get.

By Tanya Lochridge

The information provided on the Achieve Solutions site, including, but not limited to, articles, quizzes, and other general information, is for informational purposes only and should not be treated as medical, health care, psychiatric, psychological or behavioral health care advice. Nothing contained on the Achieve Solutions site is intended to be used for medical diagnosis or treatment or as a substitute for consultation with a qualified health care professional. Please direct questions regarding the operation of the Achieve Solutions site to Web Feedback. If you have concerns about your health, please contact your health care provider.  ©2017 Beacon Health Options, Inc.

 

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