Should Aging Parents Be Cared for in Their Home or Your Home? Answers are Never Easy.

Whether you should care for your aging parents in their own home or move them into yours can be difficult. Understand the options and what you are getting into before deciding.

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Should Aging Parents Be Cared for in Their Home or Your Home? Answers are Never Easy.
7 Min Read July 26th, 2021

Growing up, you always knew your parents would grow old eventually, but it is always surprising when it actually happens. And, once your elderly parents can no longer take care of themselves and require assistance with regular daily activities, it is time to start looking into your options. 

The National Alliance for Caregiving (NAC) and AARP found that there are more family caregivers than ever before, with more than 53 million Americans providing care for loved ones Unpaid Family Caregivers Now Total 53 Million People | LTC News

Families often have little choice since health insurance, including Medicare and supplements, pays little or nothing toward long-term health care services. Medicaid will pay, but the care recipient must have little or no income and assets to qualify. Long-Term Care Insurance will also pay for all types of care, but you must purchase a policy before your health declines, usually in your 40s or 50s. 

So, if a parent needs care and no planning was put in place prior, what do you do? That's where a question comes to mind: should you care for your aging parents in their own home or move them into yours? It is a difficult decision to make. There are many things to consider when choosing between these options.

Option 1: Move Your Parents into Your House

If your parents are growing old and cannot take care of themselves like they used to, the first option you have is to move them into your house. Numerous advantages can come from this decision:

A Loved One Will Look After Them

Moving a parent into your home can help alleviate their stress. When dealing with aging parents suffering from Alzheimer's disease or other forms of dementia, having a familiar face around can be especially beneficial. Depending on the progression of the dementia, this can often be a better solution than letting a stranger take care of your parents. 

However, if your aging parent does suffer from a form of dementia, make sure you make your home dementia-friendly before they move in. Declutter your home and improve the lighting; it will help in keeping your parents safe.

A person looking out a window.

When they get older and spend more time alone at their home, your parents might start to feel lonely.

It Will Save You Money

When moving elderly parents into your home, you will save money by not spending on professional long-term care. Nursing homes or in-home care tend to be very expensive Cost of Care Calculator - Choose Your State | LTC News. Moreover, most older people don't want to spend their last years surrounded by strangers in a nursing home. They will rather be spending the time they have left with their kids and grandkids. 

Moving your parents into your house can help prevent loneliness in your close older family members. While your parents will enjoy the company of their grandkids, your kids will cherish the moments they spend with their aging grandparents. It is a win-win situation.

They Will Be in Familiar Surroundings

Aging in a home they are familiar with, even if it is not their own, can help ease the transition. Your parents will feel more at ease knowing family surrounds them at all times. They will be more likely to ask for help, but they will also be able to relax more. Make sure they have their own room to give them some privacy when they want to rest. Setting up a parent's room so that they have their own TV and easy access to a bathroom is always a good idea.

Keep in mind that the responsibility of being a full-time caregiver is physically and emotionally demanding and changes the dynamic in your household. You may want to have some respite care come in, perhaps during the day when you are at work. Respite care can assist on weekends or when you go on vacation. 

Adult Day Care Centers can also be very beneficial. Your parents can be dropped off when you are not at home and picked up later. This also gives your parents the ability to socialize with others their age.

Unless they have Long-Term Care Insurance, you or your parents will have to pay for this care, but it will be less expensive than full-time care at home or in a facility.

An older woman and a young girl looking at a phone together.

If they move in with you, your aging parents will appreciate the company of their grandkids.

Option 2: Care for Aging Parents in Their Own Home

Parents often want to remain in their own homes for as long as possible. They do not want to go through the trouble of moving or feel like they are a burden to you. That is why they might prefer you take care of them in their own home. There are some things you need to consider before making this decision:

Your Role as A Caregiver

If you choose to care for your aging parents in their own home, you will first have to understand precisely what your parents need. You will have to determine what type of care is necessary and if you are able to do everything by yourself without training. 

Keep in mind that your relationship will change once you become a caregiver to your parents. Many people are unaware of the consequences of long-term care on a loved one unless they have experienced it. It can be humiliating for both the caregiver and the person receiving care. Sometimes all your parents want is to stay your parents, not feel like it is suddenly the other way around.

Additional Stress

Caring for a parent can be stressful, especially if you are juggling work and your own family. It's an incredibly strenuous job. You will have a lot on your plate, so you will need to learn how to balance it all. Moreover, when caring for a parent, you must remember to take care of yourself too. However, additional stress will most likely follow, no matter what you decide. Whether you choose to care for your aging parents in their own home or move them into yours, the number of your daily chores and responsibilities will grow significantly.

Recognize the Financial Requirements

As much as your parents probably want to age in their own home, you must ensure that this model is financially viable for your family. Can your parents afford to stay in their house? Are you capable of handling the projects and repairs that come with owning a home? Will you be able to do all the work at their home, or will you have to hire outside help? These are critical questions to ask when caring for elderly parents in their home.

An older couple, a toddler, and a baby sitting together.

When wondering if you should care for your aging parents in their own home or move them into yours, make sure you make the decision that’s best for your family and your parents.

Alternative Option

If moving your parents to your house or remaining in their home is not attractive, you could move them to a home close to your home.

Moving your parents into a house or an apartment a few blocks away from you can give you the best of both worlds. You would be able to take care of your parents and visit them more often, without losing the time it would take you to run across town. 

With this option, you would not have to jeopardize their privacy or the privacy of your family. If this becomes your best option, hiring local movers to help your parents relocate just around the corner from your home is the best choice since they will take care of all the heavy lifting and moving tasks.

Decisions are Never Easy.

Deciding whether to care for your aging parents in their own home or move them into yours is not easy. Consider your spouse and family, your career, and A lot of thought has to go into making this choice. However, do not make that decision by yourself. Discuss the options with your family and your parents. Ask your parents what they would prefer and consider their feelings.

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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.

LTC News Contributor Jane Stinson

Jane Stinson

Contributor since March 26th, 2021

Editor's Note

Aging happens. It is not just happening with mom and dad. We all are getting older. Longer lifespans have consequences—our health changes over time. Our bodies change. Yes, even our minds decline as well.

Being prepared for the future costs and burdens of aging will make getting older easier on those you love. If you want to stay at home, you can have resources for quality care. If your family wants you to live with them, you will have the resources for professional care to ease the burden.

Even small policies can offer substantial resources to protect savings, provide quality care, and ease the stress and anxiety otherwise place on your family. Be sure to start planning when you are younger and healthier - ideally in your 40s or 50s.


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Reverse Mortgages Can Be Part of a Plan

If you find most of your assets are tied to your home, today's reverse mortgages might help as the solution for either funding Long-Term Care Insurance or paying for care. Learn more here.

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