When an older parent moves in with their adult children, it can be both a solution and a source of problems for the entire family. Essentially, many families find this the only alternative for a parent to live in a nursing home or traditional assisted living.
There is also a difference when the older adult is fully independent and moving in their adult children's home for financial reasons instead of when they require help or supervision with their daily living activities.
If you are preparing for your retirement, it makes sense to weigh these issues beforehand. Having a clear idea about what you can expect when an older parent moves in with their adult kids can help prepare everyone for the changes that come with it.
Reasons to Move in With Adult Children
The COVID-19 pandemic has prompted some people to move in with their children, as some older adults have no other way to maintain the necessary level of cleanliness on their own. Also, placing an elderly parent in a nursing home can be outright dangerous while the virus looms large.
The mortality rate resulting from the spread of the virus has skyrocketed in nursing homes. That is why many people prefer the idea of avoiding a nursing home.
On the other hand, many adult children are motivated to move in with their parents because they lost their jobs and cannot pay their rent or mortgage. The economic pressure is often reduced if the family shares a home.
Built-in Care Providers
Of course, it is not just the COVID-19 pandemic that motivates people to make this decision. As you get older, your health starts to deteriorate slowly. And with increasing needs, fulfilling them will become all the more challenging. However, in these cases, one of your adult children and their family can perhaps be a helping hand.
Sometimes the problems for the older adult are simple. They might need assistance getting groceries or cleaning their home as those tasks might be difficult, but your adult kids can easily take care of these kinds of daily tasks. What's more, they have to do that for themselves anyway. So, in this regard, most people, at first, feel it is not such a big deal if you move into their place.
More older adults are moving in with adult children.
If you decide to move in with your kids, it helps to plan out the relocation well ahead of time, especially if it is a long-distance one. The process can present a pretty significant change in everyone's life.
For the older adult, it makes sense to have a detailed timeline to complete the necessary tasks when relocating. These tasks include time to declutter, pack, and wrap up all other things that moving requires.
These other tasks can include selling and closing on the home or ending a lease, dealing with utilities, and forwarding the mail. It can be easier if one of the adult children, or their spouses, helps in this process. Adult children can also help research some common challenges of long-distance moving and how to overcome them with ease.
Older Adults Can Often Provide Childcare
An older adult moving in with one of their adult children can be mutually beneficial. If the older adult is healthy and mobile and maybe moving in for financial reasons or because they are lonely, they can help the household while living there.
If there are young children in the household, grandma can become ideal childcare during the day. However, this only works if the older adult is fully mobile and independent. If the older adult themselves needs helps with daily living activities or supervision due to dementia, they will not be able to provide adequate childcare. However, if they are able, taking an active part in your kids' and other family members' lives is something many older people cherish.
Some older adults can be actively involved with their grandchildren.
If the older parent is physically able to provide childcare, it can save a lot of money. However, be sure if you consider this as an option that the older adult has the physical and mental health to provide childcare daily. Otherwise, you will have to provide in-home care for the older parent and still provide childcare for your children.
There are several cons involved in moving in with adult children for both the older parent and the adult children and their family.
Relationships May Deteriorate
The reality of an older parent living with one of their adult children's family is the relationship often strains. So, even if the relationship has been strong, moving in together will change the relationship and create tension.
The spouse may, over time, not like the invasion of privacy. An older adult who is used to living alone might not appreciate the new house rules and limitations of their privacy or independence. Plus, the adult children's lives change with the added responsibility of the daily needs of mom or dad.
Being a caregiver can become too overwhelming with juggling the needs of the older adult along with their career and typical family responsibilities.
After years of living away from each other, you may find that you cannot co-exist anymore. Different lifestyles, values, even political stances may stand in the way of living together peacefully.
It is a shame when this happens, particularly when the older person sells their home. Many experts suggest going through a 'trial period' that tests out how well everyone gets along over a more extended period of time. Remember, a week's visit is different from living together every day for months and years. If you add the need for long-term care, the stress level will be even higher for everyone.
Older Parent May Find Their Kids Want 'Too Much'
Sometimes, adult children expect too much from the older parent when they move into the house. If the older person is mobile and independent, they may not want to change their lifestyle and be tied down being 'childcare' for their grandchildren. In some cases, the adult children feel they have a built-in maid, which may not be what the older adult wants.
These expectations can prove to be too demanding and could negatively influence the relationship.
Living together with adult children often brings conflict.
Family Discussion Before Making Decisions
Expectations should be clarified beforehand. Discuss what everyone expects from each other and include the adult children's kids (if old enough) as their lives can be impacted as well.
Being a caregiver is physically and emotionally demanding in any setting. Still, when mom or dad is living in the household with their adult child's family, it can be more than just challenging. If the older parent needs long-term health care, see if it is realistic to meet those needs without professional help.
One solution could be either adult day care during the day or in-home health services coming in the home during the day. There are costs involved for these services, and those costs are not paid for my health insurance, including Medicare and supplements. If mom or dad owns a Long-Term Care Insurance policy, it will pay for these services even in someone else's home if the policyholder moves into one of their kid's homes.
Don't expect Medicaid to pay for long-term health care, especially at home. Medicaid usually only pays for nursing home care and only if the care recipient has little or no income and assets.
Longevity is creating these problems for many American families. Many people have failed to consider addressing aging and long-term health care. When the discussion of aging and long-term care does come up, it is usually in a crisis situation when options are limited.
More people are considering Long-Term Care Insurance, and while most people who do buy LTC Insurance do so in their 50s, many people tend to put this off until their options are limited, costly, or unavailable.
About the Author
Jane Stinson is a relocation specialist who has worked with many seniors over the years. Having seen how hard some of them have taken it, she has decided to start blogging about helping seniors, and younger generations, move to their new homes. Jane aims to make the whole experience more comfortable. In her free time, she enjoys reading and gardening.
Contributor since March 26th, 2021
Planning for aging and long-term health care is a family issue. Sure, money is involved, and financial considerations are also important, but long-term care impacts both family and finances.
Older adults may have limited options to plan and become more dependent on their families. However, if you are planning for your future retirement, the time is now to consider the consequences of aging.
Who would provide the necessary care? Where will the funds come from to pay for quality care options? How would these expenses affect the lifestyle of the other spouse and future legacy? Will your children be burdened with the role of caregiver or managing care?
Long-Term Care Insurance provides the necessary tax-free resources, so you have choices. You have the choice of quality care options, including care in your home. You can protect your income and assets from the ever-increasing costs of long-term care services. Just as important, your loved ones will have the time to be family instead of caregivers. You won't be dependent on others and maintain more independence.
Most people obtain Long-Term Care Insurance in their 50s when their good health allows them more choices and lower premiums. Be sure to seek the help of a qualified Long-Term Care Insurance specialist who works with the top companies to help you navigate the many options and help you find quality coverage at the lowest cost.
Seek Professional Guidance
Insurance rates are regulated, so no insurance agent, agency, or financial advisor can give you special deals. However, premiums do vary over 100% between insurance companies for the same coverage.
Experts suggest using a qualified Long-Term Care Insurance specialist to help you navigate the many options available to you and your family.
A specialist who works with the top companies can match your age, health, family history, and other factors and find you the best coverage at the best value. A specialist will save you money, and you will have peace of mind knowing they are making the appropriate recommendations - Work With a Specialist | LTC News.
Planning Tools and Resources on LTC NEWS
You can find many tools and resources on LTC NEWS to assist you in your research for a planning solution or help your family find the appropriate care for a loved one at the time of crisis.
To help you plan for the future costs and burdens of changing health and aging, LTC NEWS has put in place several resources, including:
- The LTC NEWS Cost of Care Calculator will show you the current and future cost of long-term health care services where you live. Plus, each state has vital state specific information you should know - Cost of Care Calculator - Choose Your State | LTC News
- The Ultimate Long-Term Care Guide is an outstanding read to help you get a good overview of the topic area.
- Compare the major insurance companies that offer Long-Term Care Insurance products here - Top Insurers for Long-Term Care Insurance | LTC News.
- A detailed tax guide that includes available tax incentives can be found by reviewing the Long-Term Care Tax Benefits Guide.
Find all the resources on LTC NEWS - Resources for Long-Term Care Planning | LTC News.
Find Quality Caregivers and Long-Term Care Facilities
If your parent or loved one needs care now - or soon - you will need to find the appropriate care in the right setting depending on their needs.
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LTC NEWS provides free assistance with no obligation to help you or a loved one complete the claims process with your Long-Term Care Insurance policy.
You can also get support in finding quality caregivers and get recommendations for a proper care plan, whether a person has a policy or not. - Filing a Long-Term Care Insurance Claim | LTC News.
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Benefits of Reverse Mortgages
Today's reverse mortgages for those aged 62 and older could be an ideal resource to fund a Long-Term Care Insurance policy OR even provide money to pay for care if you, or a loved one, already needs help and assistance.
Some people have much of their savings invested in their homes. With today's reverse mortgages, you can find ways to fund care solutions, care itself, even help with cash flow during your retirement.
Learn more by asking questions to an expert. LTC NEWS columnist and host of the TV Show "62 Who Knew" will answer your questions regarding caregiving, aging, health, retirement planning, long-term care, and reverse mortgages.
- Just "Ask Mike." - Reverse Mortgages | LTC News.
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