Embrace the journey of living with elderly parents. We provide insights for a harmonious family dynamic.
Whether you’re preparing to live with senior parents, or already do, it is no easy feat. Either way—we’re here to offer ideas on creating a healthier, happier home situation for all of you.
Before we get into the details of how to adjust to living with elderly parents, however, take a moment to remember that there are significant benefits to living with an aging parent. You won’t have to regret not having done so, like many adult children who never try. As a family caregiver, you can enjoy and work on cultivating your relationship during your remaining time.
You can learn family recipes, grow through acts of service, and sharpen your own goals and wishes for retirement and end-of-life planning. If you have children, they’ll get to know their grandparent even better. As your roles and environment change, you’ll be able to look for moments of joy in your caregiving and grow in your flexibility.
To assist with this, let’s dive into how you can adjust to living with elderly parents.
Seniors and caregivers can both face emotional challenges when entering into a co-living arrangement. Your parents may be dealing with:
On the other hand, you and the family of your adulthood may feel:
During this time, each of you needs to proactively work on taking care of your emotional health. Remember:
Boundaries and communication need each other; consider them the relationship goals of living with an elderly parent(or, really—anyone). To have healthy boundaries, you’ll need to establish strong communication habits with your older parents.
Although you have your own unique communication and interpersonal style and habits, you may want to consider these tips for communicating kindly and clearly:
Living together in and of itself provides support andconnectedness, but it’s just the start. Both you and your parents needmeaningful contact beyond the dining room.
For yourself, be sure to plan time with friends and find a shoulder to cry on when you need it. You might also consider seeking a professional ear to provide caregiver support to help you balance stress, strengthen coping skills, maintain boundaries, and prevent caregiver burnout.
If your parents are new to the neighborhood or have become a little too housebound in recent years, look into:
Other ways to help your parents get engaged in the community and feel supported include:
Boundaries also come into play at the physical level. However, this doesn’t mean using labels and establishing a “this is mine, that’s yours” approach. Instead, there are useful methods for establishing private and shared spaces ahead of your elderly parents moving in.
You can also look into home modifications, which include renovations and adaptive products you can invest in to address mobility, strength, and flexibility limitations, to ensure home safety for seniors. Popular options include:
The national average to outfit a home for aging in place is $9,500, but in reality, you could spend anywhere from $100 to $100,000.2
If you’re on a budget, look for free items on Facebook Marketplace, the Nextdoor app, or other similar platforms, and get your wish list out across friends and social networks. Community members are often pleased to share useful products that their loved ones no longer need so you can provide home health care for your aging parents.
Whatever you opt for, it’s wise to:
Being a caregiver is not something to take lightly. Think about typical flight attendant instructions—they tell you to put on your own oxygen mask before helping anyone else with theirs. Essentially, this is the type of mindset you need to have when taking care of senior parents, especially in a co-living arrangement.
A high percentage of caregivers suffer from physical and mental strains that often lead to serious health conditions. Studies show that:
Caregiving can be a strain on the body, a welcome mat to stress and worry, and a role that comes with an innate lack of security. However, you still have control over many of your choices. One of the reasons for such deleterious effects on caregivers’ health is that caregivers often skip their own doctors’ appointments and feel guilty about taking time for personal care.
To avoid caregiver burnout, try to schedule and prioritize time to:
Welcoming your parents to your home—or moving in with them—can bring joy. It provides the opportunity to have more time with your loved one and strengthen your relationship. But it can also come with a significant amount of stress, a seemingly endless to-do list, and additional financial costs of caring for elderly parents.
Fortunately, Truehold's sale-leaseback can help. Instead of cleaning, repairing, and staging a home for a traditional sale—and rushing to meet buyers’ and agents’ timelines—you can quickly close on a sale that allows your family to remain in the home as a renter for however long is needed.
This means you can concentrate on sorting and downsizing belongings, making the changes needed to facilitate your parents’ safety, and moving on your own timeline. In the meantime, Truehold will handle essential repairs and maintenance, as well as property tax and insurance, leaving you to focus on your family’s needs instead of prepping for a traditional sale.
Ready to find out more? Contact us today, and a Truehold Advisor will reach out to review our process and see if Truehold's Sale-Leaseback is a good fit for you and your family.
1 Eldercare Locator. The Aging Network. https://eldercare.acl.gov/Public/About/Aging_Network/Index.aspx
2 Fixr. How much does it cost a remodel to adapt a home for aging in place? https://www.fixr.com/costs/aging-in-place-remodeling
3 PubMed, National Library of Medicine. Is caregiving hazardous to one's physical health? A meta-analysis. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/14599289/
4 The Harvard Gazette. Women caring for ill spouses may be at increased risk of heart disease: Burden and stress of caregiving may double risk. https://news.harvard.edu/gazette/story/2003/02/women-caring-for-ill-spouses-may-be-at-increased-risk-of-heart-disease/
5 PubMed, National Library of Medicine. Caregiving as a risk factor for mortality: the Caregiver Health Effects Study. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/10605972/
6 Family Caregiver Alliance. Caregiver Health. https://www.caregiver.org/resource/caregiver-health/
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